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Stepping Up for PTSD Awareness

Last month the team here at HealthLink dove into learning about the connection between Veteran mental health and oral health and learned some great new strategies to bring to our patients.


In honor of PTSD Awareness Month, this June we are pledging to increase PTSD awareness with the National Center for PTSD by participating in the Step Up for PTSD Awareness Virtual Walk! Anyone can participate in this great opportunity to increase awareness. All you have to do is complete 30 minutes of exercise and share your photo on social media! Click here for details and registration.


Why do we need to increase awareness?


  • Untreated PTSD often affects one's health and happiness, the ability to work and have relationships, and increases the risk of suicide. According to the National Center for PTSD, a study analyzing data from the National Comorbidity Survey showed that PTSD alone out of six anxiety diagnoses was significantly associated with suicidal ideation or attempts.


  • Additionally, the National Center for PTSD states that "research looking specifically at combat-related PTSD in Vietnam era Veterans suggests that the most significant predictor of both suicide attempts and preoccupation with suicide is combat-related guilt. Many Veterans experience highly intrusive thoughts and extreme guilt about acts committed during times of war. These thoughts can often overpower the emotional coping capacities of Veterans."


  • The Center also reported that in 2018 up to 20 percent of recent servicemembers have been diagnosed with PTSD - and that is just those who have been diagnosed.  Also, it is estimated that as many as 30 percent of Vietnam War Veterans have suffered from PTSD in their lifetime. 


As a free clinic who proudly serves U.S. military Veterans, we must recognize PTSD and the likelihood that some of our own patients could be struggling, and we want to provide our patients with education and resources that can help.


It can be overwhelming researching and finding what you need online, so we have put together a list of credible resources, help lines, treatment tools, and more for you or anyone you know who might be suffering.


Resources:

Video Gallery of real veterans sharing their stories about PTSD and how they got help- What is AboutFace? | AboutFace (va.gov)












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