June was PTSD Awareness Month. Here is info that demonstrates that we have much to do in our PTSD awareness efforts — including outreach to PTSD suffers. Who are our PTSD suffers?

A Google search will provide this information: “Prevalence of PTSD in Veterans — In one major study of 60,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, 13.5% of deployed and nondeployed veterans screened positive for PTSD,12 while other studies show the rate to be as high as 20% to 30%”

Another study suggests that 1 in 10 veterans who served in Vietnam — more than 283,000 people — experienced PTSD symptoms four decades later.

PTSD is not only something that happens to our veterans and first responders. Here is info from an article published on Drexel.edu by their news officer, Rachel Ewing discussing a study, authored by Jonathan Purtle, DrPH, an assistant professor at the Drexel University School of Public Health.

The 2014 study was “the first to examine how public policy has been used to address psychological trauma and PTSD in the U.S., providing a glimpse of how lawmakers think about these issues.

“Although trauma and PTSD are serious issues affecting military populations, the raw number of people affected by PTSD includes substantially more civilians simply because the civilian population is so much larger,” said Purtle.

As an example, Purtle pointed to the specific language of the bill that created National PTSD Awareness Day. The text of that resolution describes PTSD as a “wound of war” that affects people in the military and does not acknowledge that PTSD exists among civilians.”

The most important point to make in all of this information sharing, is that PTSD treatments work. Please reach out to your doctor, your clergy, a local mental health provider, or the VA if you need help.

Connie Hunter

Brookings, OR

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