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National PTSD Awareness Day is June 27

National PTSD Awareness Day is June 27
Posted: Jun 27, 2022
Categories: Committees
Comments: 0

By CAPT(ret) Mary Smart, NFRW Armed Services Committee

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has existed for millennia but has only been acknowledged medically as a disease in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM) since 1980. 

PTSD has been known by many names:  railway spine, shell shock, and combat fatigue; however, this disorder can be the result of a myriad of traumatic events such as a natural disaster, near-fatal accident, terrorist insurrection and war, sexual violence, or serious threats to a person or their family. It is estimated that one in 11 people will be diagnosed with PTSD at sometime during their life. Children can have PTSD. Women, some ethnicities, and combat veterans have a higher incidence of this disease.

Because this disease is so widespread and treatable, it was felt that by making more people aware of the prevalence of the disease, destigmatizing it, and providing information regarding treatments for it, many lives could be saved. Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota urged his colleagues to call attention to this disease by honoring a National Guardsman, Staff Sergeant Joe Biel, who committed suicide after two tours in Iraq. The Senate agreed and established National PTSD Awareness Day on June 27, Joe Biel’s birthday. By shedding light on the disease and its readily available treatments, the Senate hoped that more people will take advantage of the services available to them.

Ways to observe PTSD Awareness Day are listed on the PTSD Foundation of America website. The PTSD Foundation specifically focuses on combat veterans because of the high rate of suicides in that community.  Activities listed for those who want to help include: become a volunteer or a group facilitator, offer your professional skills or become a service volunteer, volunteer at Camp Hope, or sponsor a meal at Camp Hope. 

The PTSD Foundation has a PTSD Crisis Line available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (877) 717-PTSD (7873).



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