PTSD Awareness Month: What you need to know
June is National PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder) Awareness Month. The Heart of Texas Behavioral Health Network recognizes and celebrates its commitment to provide the help needed through public education and its services.
“Often times we hear about PTSD in relation to veterans or people who may have experienced combat, but PTSD can affect just about anyone,” said Aranza Torres, Bilingual Licensed Master of Social Work (LMSW) Therapist with the Heart of Texas Behavioral Health Network. “Just like any other mental illness, PTSD does not discriminate into a single community. Anyone can be affected by it.”
According to federal data, PTSD is a mental disorder that can develop after a person of any age directly experiences or witnesses a traumatic event, such as exposure to war, threatened or actual physical assault, threatened or actual sexual violence, a violent crime or serious accident, or a natural disaster. Among the U.S. population:
• 7-8 percent will have PTSD at some point in their lives.
• Approximately 10 percent of women and 4 percent of men develop PTSD at some point in their lives.
• Approximately 5 percent of adolescents have met the criteria for PTSD in their lifetime.
Ms. Torres stresses it is vital to be aware of the symptoms anyone might be exhibiting.
“Signs of PTSD might include major shifts in moods, it might include flashbacks, nightmares associated with a traumatic event, avoidance of what might remind someone of the traumatic event or triggers,” Torres said. “If someone is experiencing this or if a loved one is experiencing this, it is always good to identify someone close to you that you can talk to.
“Of course, we have wonderful services here at the Heart of Texas Behavioral Health Network—from counseling to case management—depending on what a person needs.”
The Heart of Texas Counseling Center and the Veterans One Stop, both subsidiaries of the Heart of Texas Behavioral Health Network, are valuable resources for providing services surrounding PTSD.