PTSD Awareness Month: learn, connect, share

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Danielle Conde
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing public affairs
Since 2013, the Senate has designated June as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month to educate members of the Armed Forces, veterans, family members and the public about the causes, symptoms and treatment of PTSD.

It was once considered a psychological condition that primarily affected combat veterans; however, PTSD has been recognized to also affect survivors of terrorist attacks, natural disasters, serious accidents, assault or abuse, and even a sudden emotional loss.

The Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD has created three steps to help raise awareness: learn, connect and share.

First, learn the facts. The top three misconceptions about the condition are: people with PTSD are weak, once diagnosed with PTSD they will always have it, and they feel they can handle the condition alone.

"Traumatic events impact us all differently and it takes strength to ask for help," said Maj. Jeremy Pallas, 6th Medical Operations Squadron family advocacy program element chief.

He went on to add that many people are able to resolve PTSD within the confines of their personal resiliency and social support system. Still, they are suggested to seek consultation from a medical professional who may be able to provide better feedback on treatment options.

"In reality, evidence-based treatment can help resolve symptoms so that the individual can return back to a well state-of-mind," he said.

Second, connect by either reaching out for help or to help someone at risk.

"Share your concern candidly," said Pallas. "By getting help for PTSD, you can not only change your life, but improve your relationship with those closest to you."

There are numerous avenues to receive help. Appointments for individual and group sessions in the 6th Medical Group Mental Health Clinic at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, can be made by calling (813) 827-9172. The Veterans Crisis Line is also available at (800) 273-8255.

Third, share up-to-date information about PTSD to help continue to raise awareness.

During this awareness month, everyone is challenged to learn and share the facts about PTSD in order to connect survivors with the help and support they need.

Visit the Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD website at for more information.