June 27th is recognized as National PTSD Awareness Day in the United States. This day aims to raise awareness to the 8 million Americans who live with mental health impacts due to traumatic events. The day is also meant to spread the word that PTSD treatments are effective and available.
What is PTSD and who gets it?
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a condition that people develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event like a natural disaster, car accident, sexual assault, childhood abuse, combat experience and most recently, impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although symptoms from PTSD look different for everyone, nightmares, anxiety and reoccurring distressing memories are common.
Although it is unknown why some individuals develop PTSD and others do not, it is evident that certain traumatic events generate higher occurrences of PTSD. The Harvard Review of Psychiatry reports that 6%-32% of Law Enforcement, 9%-22% of EMT/Paramedics and 17%-32% of Firefighters suffer from PTSD. Military service members also fall into this category, with 11%-20% of OIF/OEF veterans experiencing PTSD symptoms.
How can you get help?
Understanding that PTSD is not a sign of weakness is the first step to bringing awareness to this often misunderstood and misrepresented condition. Knowing what causes PTSD and that it affects people different is equally important for those who have PTSD, as well as for those who support them.
PTSD requires a medical diagnosis, so it is important to seek help if you or a loved one is suffering. There are many great organizations and non-profits that offer support.
At FDM, we value the mental health of our employees, which is why we’ve established employee assistance and wellbeing programs to ensure our people have the resources they need to be the best version of themselves, from our veteran community through to our graduate community. If you would like to learn more, please reach out to [email protected].