Remembering Those with PTSD on National Awareness Day

In a recent article, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, reminds people to remember those suffering from PTSD on a day reserved for its awareness. June 28 was national PTSD Awareness Day, and calls to attention the more than 5 million Americans who suffer from this mental health challenge. PTSD is a mental health problem that can result from any traumatic event, such as a national disaster, accident, war-time attack, and combat among others. Many people develop PTSD after years of repeated physical, sexual or psychological abuse. Although some people overcome their symptoms of PTSD relatively quickly, many people suffer for years. Men, women and children are all vulnerable to this problem.

PTSD includes symptoms of agitation, fear, anxiety, depression and even aggression. The problem affects not only the person suffering from it, but impacts their quality of life, job performance and family as well. HHS Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration wants people to know that they have a variety of available outlets for people to receive help for their PTSD. Additionally, they provide support to the friends and family members of those living with PTSD in order to understand and cope with the symptoms of the trauma and the ensuing emotional conditions. Sebelius says, “We have a responsibility to help Americans who have lived through trauma, especially our nation’s service men and women who may be dealing with PTSD. We owe them the care and resources they need to get well.”

Because PTSD often occurs in military veterans, Sebelius adds, “One of our key programs is our partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide military veterans and service members, along with their families, assistance with the effects of PTSD through the confidential toll-free Veterans Crisis Hotline, a service that also offers support through a confidential one-on-one online chat service.”

© Copyright 2011 by By John Smith, therapist in Bellingham, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Tempest


    July 1st, 2011 at 9:38 PM

    These “awareness days” are objectionable to me. If it’s important enough to have a day set aside for it, then it’s important enough for us to be aware of it at all times and how sufferers have to deal with it every single day.

    They encourage society to think about it for 24 hours and go back to not caring the very next morning. PTSD awareness should be a continually evolving process.

  • Mikael


    July 1st, 2011 at 11:46 PM

    trauma can haunt a person for years…it’s sad how even a very short-lived event can affect a person for years together…makes me feel like we humans are so vulnerable…we can wear an armpit to protect from physical damage but is there an armpit for mental health? :|

  • A.Franks


    July 2nd, 2011 at 4:56 AM

    I was reading the stats on PTSD among both veterans and civilians just the other day and observed that the civilian rate in our country is much more than others.Any specific reasons for this?

  • Jess


    July 2nd, 2011 at 8:38 AM

    recognition on one day is not going to be the answer
    there needs to be a general awareness all year long that PTSD is something that many patients with mental health issues face and that needs to be recognized
    I know that these are all steps in the right direction but sometimes it feels like more needs to be done, faster, to meet the needs of everyone

  • Sally


    July 3rd, 2011 at 1:56 PM

    PTSD can be devastating for those who suffer as well as for the families who have to watch that suffering from afar. I am glad to see so much coverage here of this lie shattering illness and can only hope that the recognition that it receives here will continue to grow and that others will become aware of the symptoms and the need for treatment.

  • martha t.

    martha t.

    July 3rd, 2011 at 10:50 PM

    Almost everybody knows or know of a person with PTSD, especially if they’re in the military. Failing that, many suffer from it and have to deal with it in their daily lives. We read about what it’s been linked to every week and every month in the news several times, people suffering from it, and so on.It’s a popular topic already.

  • Pete Slater

    Pete Slater

    July 3rd, 2011 at 11:29 PM

    How widespread PTSD is and how easily some can succumb to it is why more need to be aware of the facts. There are still many who think that all PTSD sufferers are drama queens who need to grow up or are frauds. They need to be told that even though there are charlatans out there, they are few and far between.

  • Craig1776


    July 4th, 2011 at 11:48 PM

    Is there anything that can be done to prevent PTSD?Like maybe provide immediate support to the personnel in the warzone or something like that?Is any research going on in this area?

  • F. Sweeney

    F. Sweeney

    July 6th, 2011 at 7:40 PM

    A member of my aunt’s church congregation told her she had PTSD after suffering a terrible accident, expecting to hear words of sympathy and comfort. My aunt shocked us all when she accused the lady of contributing to the UK’s growing lawsuit culture. How embarrassing that was! I’ll never live that down.

  • fionaholloway


    July 9th, 2011 at 5:25 PM

    That stigma also exists in the US military, and it was only a few years ago that medical experts were telling congress directly that even though broken legs and cancer were faultless, you’re at fault if combat gives you PTSD. It really is sad that little has changed in four years when everything is changing rapidly now.

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