Going through a traumatic experience does not mean you will necessarily have Post–Traumatic Stress Disorder, but there are people who want others to know that PTSD is real, and they say being educated is the first step toward prevention.
It's estimated that around 11 to 20 percent of veterans that served in the Iraq or Afghanistan wars experience PTSD.
The National Center for PTSD, US Department of Veterans Affairs and the Red Sox Foundation of Massachusetts General Hospital have produced an on–line training series for the general public and health care professionals.
The point of the series is to help doctors, nurses, psychologists and even family members of those returning from war identify key features of the disorder and teach them how to address mental health issues in the proper way.
"When people first come home from a war zone, sometimes it takes a little time just to get settled back in," explained Laurie Slone, VA associate director for Research and Education. "And at first, everyone who goes through a traumatic experience, they all have some type of reaction. So it takes some time to know whether you're going to just need that quiet time to get over things or whether there is a more serious problem that needs to be addressed."
Richard Young's Provisionally Licensed Mental Health Practitioner Bridget Mostek says, "It's definitely something not to ignore. We see a lot of people come into the hospital that are suffering from PTSD and didn't know about it, and once they find out there is treatment, they can live a happy healthy life."
If you'd like more information on the free lectures, go to www.mghcme.org/homefront for the Home Base Program.