La Feria News

June is PTSD
Awareness Month

National PTSD Awareness Month is observed in June and it ushers in an array of awareness campaigns run for the benefit of PTSD Survivors. PTSD stands for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which occurs in people after they have experienced a particularly traumatic event like war, violent physical/sexual/verbal assault, accidents and so forth. Symptoms include depression, anxiety, nightmares, paranoia, insomnia, disturbing thoughts and much more. Many people recover from PTSD after a few days, weeks or months. Yet, for others, the recovery road might mean one year or more. This mental disorder is treatable, but due to the lack of knowledge around it as well as the stigma attached to seeking mental help, many choose to ignore the problem and suffer through it.

Some studies suggest that suicide risk is higher among those who experienced trauma due to the symptoms of PTSD. A study from the National Comorbidity Survey, a national representative sample, showed that PTSD alone was significantly associated with suicidal ideation or attempts. A later study by the Canadian Community Health Survey data also found that respondents with PTSD were at a higher risk for suicide attempts. Among people who have had a diagnosis of PTSD at some point in their lifetime, approximately 27% have also attempted suicide. Another large-scale survey found that 24% of military personnel diagnosed with PTSD had experienced suicidal thinking within the past year.

According to the Journal of Emergency Services, there is a silent crisis happening worldwide. First responders are quietly suffering because of the stigma surrounding the utilization of mental health services. First responders are approximately ten times more likely to have suicidal ideations and/or attempt suicide compared to the CDC national average.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255), is a free resource, available 24 hours a day for anyone who is in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. The crisis text line is a free 24/7 text line where trained crisis counselors support individuals in crisis. Text “Jason” to 741741 to speak with a compassionate, trained Crisis Counselor. Confidential support 24/7, for free.

The Jason Foundation is another available resource. The Jason Foundation offers the First Responders Training Module: Addressing Suicide with Youth in the Community and Within the Profession. The goal of this training is to provide First Responders with the knowledge, skills, and resources to enable them to be better able to recognize the signs of concern and elevated risk factors for suicidal ideation in youth within their community, as well as in co-workers and fellow first responders. The training is free of charge and can be found online at under the How To Get Involved tab.

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