PTSD Awareness Day 2020
PTSD Awareness Day is observed every year on June 27th.PTSD stands for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorderand is a condition that many veterans and non-veterans alike suffer. PTSD can occur when someone experiences or witnesses a traumatic event. This condition wasn’t always understood properly by the medical or military community, and Department of Defense press releases often point to earlier attempts to identify PTSD symptoms in the wake of service in World War 2, Vietnam, and other conflicts.
PTSD Awareness Day will be observed on Saturday, June 27, 2020. June is also PTSD Awareness Month.
The History Of PTSD Awareness Day
In 2010, Senator Kent Conrad pushed to get official recognition of PTSD via a “day of awareness” in tribute to a North Dakota National Guard member who took his life following two tours in Iraq (S. Res. 541).
Staff Sergeant Joe Biel died in 2007 after suffering from PTSD; Biel committed suicide after his return from duty to his home state. SSgt. Biel’s birthday, June 27, was selected as the official PTSD Awareness Day, which is now observed every year.
How Do People Observe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Day?
Much of what is done to observe PTSD Awareness Day involves encouraging open talk about PTSD, its’ causes, symptoms, and most important of all, getting help for the condition. PTSD is, even in modern times, often misunderstood by those with no firsthand experience with the condition or those who suffer from it. PTSD Awareness Day is designed to help change that.
The Department of Defense publishes circulars, articles, and other materials to help educate and inform military members and their families about the condition. The Department of Veterans Affairs official site has several pages dedicated to PTSD, and when military members retiring or separating from the service fill out VA claim forms for service-connected injuries, illnesses, or disabilities, there is an option to be evaluated for PTSD as a part of the VA claims process.
What Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
As mentioned above, PTSD can be the result of experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. The specific nature of the trauma can and does vary greatly. Medical experts are quick to point out that while combat and combat-related military service can be traumatic, not everyone who serves under such conditions reacts the same way. Some may develop symptoms of PTSD, while others may be unaffected.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: How Widespread Is It?
Some sources estimate that as many as 70% of all Americans have experienced a traumatic event sufficient to cause PTSD or PTSD-like symptoms. That does not mean that all 70% of Americans WILL suffer from PTSD. Using these statistics, some 224 million Americans have experienced a traumatic event. Of that number, some 20% will develop PTSD symptoms, roughly 44 million people.
Of that 44 million, an estimated eight percent experience active PTSD symptoms at any one time. An estimated 50% of all mental health patients are also diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.