EMU’s chapter of Young Americans for Liberty passed out ribbons in front of Pray Harrold Monday to raise awareness for veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that is brought on by memories of a stressful traumatic event or series of events. You can develop PTSD if the event happened to you or if you witnessed a traumatic event. More than 5 million adults in the United States are affected by PTSD each year.
EMU sophomore Dylan Delikta, YAL member said the main goal for the event was to make people aware that going out to war is a very traumatic situation for people.
“You see an increase in PTSD with veterans as years go on,” Delikta said. “Our message here is to kind of say ‘hey support veterans and help them through PTSD.’”
Chapter president and founder of YAL, Alison Basley said by passing out ribbons and flyers she was hoping to make students more aware of the costs of war. She said soldiers can get problems like PSTD when they are in combat and a lot of soldiers that have come back from Iraq and Afghanistan have PTSD.
EMU junior Barbaro Suarez, who is a veteran, said that not too many people know much about veteran PTSD. Suarez said anyone, not just veterans, can get PTSD when you encounter a situation that’s so severe that your mind can’t handle it.
The National Comorbidity Survey Replication conducted between February 2001 and April 2003 revealed that 6.8 percent of veterans will have a lifetime prevalence of PTSD. The number with a lifetime prevalence PTSD is different between males at 3.6 percent and females at 9.7 percent.
“20 percent of national suicides in the United States are completed by veterans,” Basley said.
Basley said a lot of the veteran suicides are because they are not getting treated in time or when veterans do get treatment, it is through medication.
“These are people fighting for my freedom, fighting for pretty much everyone’s. Let’s be honest, if we didn’t have enough troops, they’d bring back the draft,” said EMU junior Corson Nikkel, “This is really about taking care of the people that ensure…we are not all forced to fight. That to me is a very big issue with this.”
EMU senior Elizabeth Ashford said veteran PTSD is an issue the government and many servicemen and women do not want to address.
“It’s viewed as a disability, as if you are not competent enough to handle civilian life or even combat life,” Ashford said. “I think that if we just change our minds and lift the stigma that we associate PTSD with, instead of saying these people are crazy or they can’t comprehend their emotions; I think we’d be able to understand them more and treat them more as human beings, not as soldiers. They are human beings first and then they are soldiers.”
Veterans or family members seeking help with PTSD can call 1-800-273-8255 for 24 hour confidential support through a crisis situation.