PTSD Awareness Day sheds light on mental health, services available

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – It’s National PTSD Awareness Day, but it’s not intended as a celebration.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Day is designed to not only raise public awareness but to let those living with the disorder know that help is available — and treatment is effective.

The Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) says four out of five of the warriors they serve report living with the symptoms of the disorder. Organizations estimate hundreds of thousands of veterans live with the symptoms of PTSD.

“They associate that with what happened to them in war, so just ordinary city noises can be a problem,” explained Pat Bray with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in Savannah.

As we get closer to the Fourth of July, those sounds and symptoms may only get louder.

“Those do trigger emotional and physiological ties to the trauma that they experienced. Could be gunfire,” said Alex Balbir with WWP. “But it also relates to the fact that these individuals are on a very heightened state of awareness.  

“Fourth of July, absolutely being very aware that type of stimulus can be extremely traumatic for a, for a veteran who’s suffering from post-traumatic stress.”

For every veteran, there is treatment available through Veterans Affairs or organizations like WWP. NAMI Savannah provides mental health help to anyone.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit here for a list of additional free resources.

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