CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) – Today is national PTSD Awareness Day. According to the Wounded Warrior Project, nearly 78% of veterans live with post-traumatic stress disorder, that’s equal to roughly eight million Americans.
The Wounded Warrior Project is an organization founded in 2003 that helps active duty military members and veterans.
PTSD can develop after experiencing a traumatic event and for veterans can stem from training or combat. The symptoms can include nightmares, frightening thoughts, flashbacks, becoming easily startled, insomnia, and more. It is important to seek help if you are struggling with any of these symptoms.
Lt. Col. (Ret.) Mike Richardson, WWP vice president of independence services and mental health says, however, that there still exists a heavy stigma around treatment for PTSD.
“Sadly, there’s still some negativity around seeking care, but it absolutely shows real strength to seek help for yourself or to encourage a loved one to do so.”
He adds that delaying treatment could even make your symptoms worse.
The Wounded Warrior Project offers several treatment programs that help veterans deal with PTSD:
- Project Odyssey- these workshops bring together veterans to participate in outdoor challenges with a focus on internal growth and fostering external support amongst peers.
- WWP Talk- this program features WWP staff that are available for regularly scheduled calls with veterans, family members to help develop personal goals and plans to achieve those goals.
- Warrior Care Network- WWP partners with a few top academic health centers to provide mental health treatment to those struggling with PTSD. The 2-3 program consists of more than 70 hours of care including cognitive therapy, meditation, prolonged exposure, and more.
If you think you may be experiencing the symptoms of PTSD, it is important to seek help.
For more information on PTSD including the signs and how you can help veterans visit: https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/programs/combat-stress-recovery-program/what-is-ptsd