If someone has a visible disability, most people are quick to support them in whatever way they need. But an invisible disability such as post-traumatic stress disorder is hard to recognize, and something many don’t understand.
June is PTSD Awareness Month, an opportunity to learn more about PTSD and the effects it can have on people’s well-being.
PTSD can occur after any traumatic event, such as wartime battles, assaults, earthquakes, fires, car crashes and more. It’s more common that many people realize.
Of course, not everyone who experiences such things will develop PTSD. It’s normal to think, feel or act differently after a traumatic event. Most of us feel better after a few weeks or months.
But for some, the feelings linger. They can upset the person enough to cause problems in daily life. That’s PTSD.
Given the unique dangers and stresses they face in wartime, it’s not surprising that many military veterans develop PTSD. They can develop persistent anxiety, sleeplessness, depression and other symptoms that can seem overwhelming. For some, that spiral can lead to addiction, homelessness or worse.
Help is Available
Effective PTSD treatment is available, but many people are unaware of it, or how to ask for help. The goal of PTSD Awareness month is to help more people realize that help is out there, and how to access it.
To help reach veterans, the Center for Suicide Awareness created a special challenge coin, which the center gives to police departments throughout the country. The coins feature a text line number – 741741 – that troubled vets can use to communicate with people trained to help.
If you want to help raise awareness of PTSD, custom coins are a good way to do so. Other products, such as custom wristbands, can be used to promote PTSD awareness as well. The more people spread the message, the more PTSD sufferers can be helped. We all can play a role in helping our fellow citizens.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 1-800-273-8255. If you prefer to text, Hopeline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 741741.
For more information about the Center for Suicide Awareness, see their website at http://www.centerforsuicideawareness.org.