PTSD Awareness Day

In 2010, Senator Conrad pushed to get official recognition of PTSD through a “day of awareness” in tribute of a National Guard member who took his life after two tours in Iraq. Staff Sergeant Joe Biel committed suicide after his return from duty to his home state. SSGT. Biel’s Birthday, June 27th, was selected as the official PTSD Awareness Day.


A lot of what is done to observe PTSD awareness day involves encouraging open talk about PTSD, its symptoms, causes and most importantly, getting help. PTSD can be misunderstood by those with no first hand experience with it. PTSD day is designed to help bring awareness.


What is PTSD?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD, can be the result of experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event in your life.


It is estimated that 70% of all Americans have experienced a traumatic event that could cause PTSD-like symptoms. 224 million Americans have experienced a traumatic event, of that number, around 20% will develop PTSD symptoms, which is roughly 44 million people.


Suicidal thoughts or self destructive acts are often a result of PTSD or related symptoms. More non-specific symptoms include varying degrees of irritability, depression and suicidal feelings. Those who experience symptoms of PTSD should seek help immediately.


The VA’s crisis helpline is 800-273-8255 or text 838255. You don’t have to be hanging on the edge to contact them. Sometimes all it takes is just being able to talk to somebody who has been in a similar situation. Someone who understands every bit of what you are going through.