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PTSD Awareness Month

June 21, 2023

Studies show that approximately five of every 100 adults in the U.S. has Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in any given year. During National PTSD Awareness Month in June, HopeWay is helping shine a light on the importance of detecting and treating PTSD.

“Civilians and Veterans can both experience trauma and PTSD,” said Justin Johnson, MD, a board-certified psychiatrist and Director of Veteran Services at HopeWay. “It is vital that Veterans, civilians and their family members know the signs and symptoms of PTSD and related mental health issues, the importance of receiving effective treatment, and that they are not alone.” 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition that can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. The rate of PTSD may be up to 15 times higher – and the rate of depression up to five times higher – in active duty service members compared to civilians. Research shows that nationally, 20 Veterans die by suicide a day. In addition, nearly one in four active service members present with signs of a mental health condition, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Signs and symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Experiencing nightmares or vivid memories of the traumatic event 
  • Dealing with sleep problems
  • Losing interest in things that used to bring joy
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Being on edge or jumpy, or like you have to be on guard 
  • Feeling irritated or angry

HopeWay suggests the following ways to support someone struggling with their mental health or showing signs of PTSD:

  • Take time to ask the person how they are doing.
  •  Use “I” statements when expressing concern. For example, “I am worried about you, or I have noticed you socializing less.”
  • Use active listening when talking to the person.
    • Make eye contact.
    • Use supportive facial expressions.
    • Give your full attention; do not multitask.
    • Listen to understand rather than to respond. Provide support and encourage the individual to access professional help.
  • Take the person seriously, especially if safety concerns arise.
  • Connect the person with appropriate mental health resources. HopeWay is a premier resource for civilians and Veterans in the Charlotte community and across the nation: or 1-844-HOPEWAY

Other available resources:

Military and Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255, press 1

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 988

Psychological Health Resource Center: 1-866-966-1020

Military One Source:  800-342-9647

To watch the media coverage related PTSD Awareness Month, click below. 

Interview on Queen City News

Interview on WBT Radio's Carolina Focus with Sharon Thorsland

Interview on WSOC-TV with Almiya White 

Interview on WBTV


Editor’s note: This blog post is presented for informational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness. If you have any health concern, see a licensed healthcare professional in person.