The National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder has designated June as PTSD Awareness Month to help increase awareness of the disorder and educate the public on trauma and PTSD.
PTSD is a clinical disorder than can result from exposure to a traumatic event in which fear and other negative emotions do not go away over a period of time. Individuals with PTSD may feel as though they are reliving the event either through bad memories or nightmares, and their reactions can unfortunately affect their daily life and functioning.
The veteran population in the United States is particularly susceptible to PTSD due to experiences in their military career and active duty service. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that about 11 to 20 percent of veterans who served in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom have PTSD. That average is even higher for Vietnam Veterans, as it is estimated that about 30 out of every 100 Vietnam vets have had PTSD in their lifetime.
PTSD among military veterans is not always related to combat-related experiences. Military Sexual Trauma, abbreviated MST, is another cause of PTSD among military vets, and can happen to both men and women. Among Veterans who use VA health care, approximately 23% of women reported sexual assault when in the military, and 55% of women and 38% of men have experienced sexual harassment when in the military.
While these numbers are alarming, fortunately, there are many resources available throughout our local communities that can help veterans suffering from PTSD following their return to civilian life. For veterans living in Gloucester and Salem counties, Robins’ Nest Counseling & Wellness Centers offer free mental health services to vets and their families. Our skilled clinicians are trained in helping our returning heroes adjust to the stresses and unique challenges that come with the transition back to civilian life. Whether it’s adjusting to being in a parenting role again or dealing with trauma, our staff are trained to meet your needs and assist you in making this transition easier on all that are involved.