June 27 is National PTSD Awareness Day

Published: Jun. 27, 2023 at 5:22 PM EDT
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BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (WVVA) - June 27 is National PTSD Awareness Day and even though treatments for PTSD are out there and accessible, many people may not get the help they need to live a better life. Michelle Toman and Barri Faucet are advocates for suicide prevention and say that PTSD can affect anyone at any age who has experienced a traumatic event.

“The traumatic event is interpreted by the individual sometimes who experiences it. There’s a lot of discussion about veteran’s experiencing traumatic events, but little children can experience traumatic events, women and etc,” said Faucet.

Faucet and Toman are involved with You Matter I matter, Brother Up and Prevent Suicide West Virginia. Toman says PTSD does have to be diagnosed by a mental health professional. However, there are self evaluations you can do online to see if you have signs of PTSD.

“You can also reach out to a professional, clinician or maybe start with your primary care physician and say hey I think I may have this as a result of A, B or C and what can I do to get some help outside of myself,” said Toman.

Both Toman and Faucet say if you think someone potentially has PTSD, you can sit down with them and let them know you’re concerned about them.

“If you think they’re struggling with PTSD, diagnosed or undiagnosed. Have a safe, honest and meaningful conversation with that individual and just go from there,” said Toman.

“The way you can start that conversation is by saying I’ve noticed and identify some of the behavior or emotions that you noticed and say I care for you and we need to have a safe and meaningful conversation about this,” said Faucet.

The Fourth of July is fast approaching, both Toman and Faucet say you should kindly approach neighbors to let them know if you plan to set fireworks off. This is because they can trigger veterans who are suffering from PTSD.