Wed Jun 28 2023 16:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
June is PTSD Awareness Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness and normalizing its effects. Veterans and first responders alike experience PTSD because of the many traumatic events they witness.
WACO, Texas (FOX 44) – June is PTSD Awareness Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness and normalizing its effects. Veterans and first responders alike experience PTSD because of the many traumatic events they witness.
Organizations like the Veterans One Stop in Waco aim to educate, support and reduce the stigma associated with PTSD.
According to the Veterans Affairs, 6% of male veterans and 13% of female veterans experience PTSD at some point in their lifetime. However, the Veterans One Stop believes those numbers are under reported.
Veterans One Stop Counselor Ashley Rosenstein says, “oftentimes some of that hesitancy starts in the military. For things like fear of maybe getting discharged or not being able to progress in their career. And then after getting out of the military, there’s a stigma in society often where people will look at somebody with mental health issues as a broken person or less of a person.”
Veterans One Stop also provides a peer network for veterans to normalize therapy. There are 3 leading treatments for PTSD: Cognitive processing therapy, EMDR also known as eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, and prolonged exposure therapy.
First responders also face traumatic experiences on a daily basis. In fact, 30% of police officers develop behavioral health conditions including PTSD.
Law enforcement mental health expert Al Eskanazy says in recent years the negative stigma around mental health has dwindled, with police becoming more open to discussing their traumas and remedies.
“Police chiefs and command staff are much more sensitive to what an officer is going through and cause and effect,” says Eskanazy.