Trauma survivors encouraged to self-screen for PTSD

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WASHINGTON — Veterans, service members and civilians are encouraged to take a 50-second self-screen, June 27, on PTSD Screening Day for posttraumatic stress disorder.

The short, five-question screen can be answered alone, with a friend, family member or health care provider.

PTSD Screening Day is an opportunity to encourage self-screens and discussion of results with health care providers. Many who suffer from PTSD may be unaware of their symptoms or reluctant to get care due to mental health stigmas. Only a trained provider can diagnose PTSD.

“Taking the self-screen is the first step to recovery; results can help Veterans learn if their feelings and behaviors are related to PTSD,” said Executive Director of the National Center for PTSD Paula Schnurr, Ph.D. “The message we want to share is one of hope. PTSD is treatable and is a normal response to trauma, not a sign of weakness. If you have PTSD, you can get help.”

PTSD is a mental health problem some develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, car accident or sexual assaultRegardless of the trauma or when it was experienced, VA offers PTSD treatments and other services to support Veterans who have experienced trauma or are experiencing symptoms of PTSD.

A Veteran may have PTSD if they answer “yes” to three or more questions on the self-screen. The next step is to schedule an appointment to speak with a health care provider. Everyone, regardless of their answers, can reach out to a health care provider if they feel bothered or negatively affected by their symptoms.

Veterans and others who have experienced trauma or who have PTSD can learn more about the National Center for PTSD and its efforts to enhance care for Veterans.

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