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Dear Veterans and Families,

June is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month. PTSD is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault.

Due to the duties and various environments Veterans are exposed to during their time in the military, PTSD prevalence can be high. It is estimated that about 30 percent of all Vietnam Veterans have or have experienced PTSD, followed by OIF/OEF/OND Veterans at 20 percent, and Gulf War Veterans at 12 percent.

If not treated, PTSD can negatively impact a Veteran’s overall health and wellbeing and trigger other mental health disorders like anxiety, depression, sleep problems, anger, substance misuse, and even suicide.

Because of this, VA makes it a public health priority to raise awareness of PTSD to let everyone know there is help available and treatments that work.  You can learn more about PTSD, treatments available, and much more at www.ptsd.va.gov.

To further amplify our awareness efforts during the month of June, the VA Sunshine Healthcare Network (VISN 8) is hosting a virtual PTSD awareness event on June 18 at 9:00 a.m. The event will consist of a brief welcome and short presentation from two of our mental health lead psychologists followed by a call for action encouraging participants to complete a 30-minute walk/bike/run awareness challenge. Individuals will be asked to post pictures of themselves on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) completing the challenge using the hashtag #NotAllWoundsAreVisble.

To join the event, please visit www.visn8.va.gov/ptsdawareness.asp.  

Whether you are a Veteran or family member, VA employee, volunteer, service officer, local or state leader, or just a concerned citizen, we encourage you to attend and participate. Please share this message and attached flyer with others who may be interested in attending. Often, it is a family member, friend, or contact who can bridge the gap and connect Veterans to important resources that can change their lives in a positive way.

Thank you for taking the time to read this important message and for your service to our great nation. 

Sincerely,

Your Friends at the VA Sunshine Healthcare Network (VISN 8) – Providing exceptional medical and mental health services to Veterans in Florida, South Georgia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

June is PTSD Awareness Month
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