June is PTSD Awareness month - so what is PTSD? It’s a condition in which a person has difficulty recovering after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. But experiencing PTSD is never as simple as that. We look to these organizations, our trusted resources, on the topic of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in kids, teens, and families to learn more:
WWP is committed to helping those living with PTSD. WWP has resources on the mental health issues surrounding women in the military with the Women Warrior Initiative. They have great connection programs for families, veterans, and warriors to reach out and speak to someone who can help them progress physically and mentally, as well as help them with life after the military. Their resource center focuses on human connection and finding solutions with options to get involved and donate to help others.
Psych Armor provides webinar and video services to help those who may have trouble understanding how to interact and act as support for those who have served in the military. “Education is the most effective way to initiate conversations and empowers us to collectively support service members, Veterans, and their families so they can thrive in their real life and online communities.” They even have a section dedicated to families who need help discussing trauma with their kids. And their “Invisible Wounds at Home” series is a terrific visual resource for those struggling. All of these lessons and webinars are completely free.
“PTSD isn’t just a veteran’s issue. Over 8 million Americans will experience PTSD symptoms in any given year.” They provide suggestions for managing PTSD such as guided audio, recreational therapy, self-care apps (like Sleep, Calm, headspace, PTSD coach, Spotify, and Alexa connections), and using STEM as a therapy. Lift and Shift loves to share their resources as well, toting such sites as https://ptsdauthority.com/ and this great link to guided audio from Dartmouth College.
The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system. “PTSD is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault. It's normal to have upsetting memories, feel on edge, or have trouble sleeping after this type of event. If symptoms last more than a few months, it may be PTSD. The good news is that there are effective treatments.” (https://www.ptsd.va.gov/index.asp )
On the VA website is the National Center for PTSD, a division dedicated to research and education on trauma and PTSD. “Trauma happens to people of all ages. If diagnosed with PTSD, the symptoms in children and teens can look different from those in adults. Children may be more likely to show signs of PTSD in their play while teenagers may be more impulsive.” Their articles on young trauma and trauma in kids & teens are incredibly insightful and offer advice on next steps.
“1 in 5 Americans live with a mental health condition. So chances are you or someone you know has been affected.” NAMI is an advocacy, education, and support resource that “envisions a world where all people affected by mental illness live healthy, fulfilling lives supported by a community that cares.” Not only is their site all-inclusive on any mental health topic, but their extensive section on PTSD contains treatment options, support connections, and addresses common concerns about PTSD.
If you or someone you know is looking for more information on PTSD, feel free to share these resources.