As the country recognizes Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month, the VA National Center for PTSD (NCPTSD) is inviting the public to participate in its “PTSD Awareness: June 2015” campaign, which began June 1. This year’s goal is to help more Veterans, their families, caregivers and community members understand what PTSD is and know that there are specific treatments that can help improve and save lives.
“Raising PTSD awareness is essential to overcoming the myth, misinformation and stigma that too often prevents Veterans from seeking help,” said VA Secretary Robert A. McDonald.
This year’s campaign focuses on online materials and encourages the general public to “learn, connect, and share” to raise PTSD awareness. Anyone can “learn” how PTSD treatment can help, “connect” by reaching out to someone, and “share” what they learn by spreading the word.
June 27 also has been designated by VA as PTSD Awareness Day for the fourth consecutive year. For more information on PTSD and the ways to raise awareness throughout the year, professionals and members of the public can visit the National Center for PTSD website, www.ptsd.va.gov/about/PTSD-awareness/. This site offers resources such as:
• PTSD Coach Online and the award-winning PTSD Coach mobile app, which provide symptom-management strategies. The app is always with you when you need it.
• Continuing Education (CE) and continuing medical education (CME) opportunities for providers, including PTSD 101 Courses, on the best practices in PTSD treatment (CEs/CMEs offered).
• AboutFace: An online video gallery of Veterans talking about PTSD and how treatment can turn your life around.
• Whiteboards: Short animated videos to learn about PTSD and effective treatments.
• Subscribe to the PTSD Monthly Update – Stay up to date on new information about PTSD and trauma year round.
VA’S Treatment of PTSD
The health and well-being of the courageous men and women who have served in uniform is the highest priority for VA.
• VA is one of the largest integrated mental health systems in the United States that provides specialized treatment for PTSD.
• From Oct. 1, 2001, to Dec. 31, 2014, nearly 400,000 Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn Veterans were seen for potential PTSD at VA facilities following their return from these overseas deployments.
• In fiscal year 2014, more than 535,000 of the nearly 6 million Veterans who sought care at VA healthcare facilities received treatment for PTSD.
• As of September 2014, more than 5,900 VA mental health staff members have received training in Prolonged Exposure and/or Cognitive Processing Therapy, the most effective known therapies for PTSD.