The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the National Center for PTSD (NCPTSD) have announced that June is PTSD Awareness Month. To help promote greater awareness of the complex issues surround posttraumatic stress, the United States Senate has also declared June 27 to be PTSD Awareness Day. Posttraumatic stress disorder can occur due to exposure to a single traumatic event or series of events and can commonly be found in military veterans, emergency personnel, and survivors of physical or sexual assault. Statistics suggest that PTSD can affect 3.5 percent of American adults each year and historical accounts of PTSD symptoms go back to ancient times.
Symptoms of PTSD can include:
- persistent intrusive thoughts and distressing dreams about the trauma
- triggered emotional responses to sights, sounds, and smells that acts as reminders of the traumatic event
- persistent hypervigilance towards any cues suggesting the danger or trauma will reoccur
To promote awareness, the VA and NCPTSD invited professionals and family members to learn more about PTSD through their online resources including this printable PDF and this online video, PTSD Treatment: Know Your Options, which outlines the best treatments. The VA also provides the About Face webpage which allows visitors to hear veterans and their families describe how PTSD has affected them and how treatment has helped them get their lives back. Promotional materials are also available for anyone LLL
In recognizing that PTSD can also occur in children, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network is participating in this awareness campaign with their own web site offering ways people can get involved in their own communities.