We hope you will join us in educating yourself and your community about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Greater public awareness of PTSD will help reduce the stigma of PTSD and overcome negative stereotypes that may keep people from reaching out for help.
How can you make a difference starting today!
Learn about PTSD
Learn the signs and symptoms of PTSD (http://www.cmha.ca/mental_health/post-traumatic-stress-disorder/#.VW4fAM9Viko ). Develop code words to use when your loved one has been involved in a traumatic incident, so they don’t have to repeat the trauma or be worried about traumatizing their loved ones by sharing details. Learn how to support and keep an open dialogue. Know when and where to reach out for help for yourself or someone if needed.
Connect by developing a support network
Don’t wait for trauma to happen! Develop a support network before. Find watch mates you can confide in and a therapist you can trust. Maintain relationships outside of your police service to help maintain work life balance.
If you or a loved one has experienced withdrawal, nightmares, flashbacks, heightened sensitivity, or notice a disruption to your everyday life for a period longer than three months after a traumatic incident, it may be time to seek treatment. If you suspect that you might suffer from PTSD, an online PTSD screening (http://www.ptsdassociation.com/ptsd-self-assessment.php) is a great place to start. All you have to do is answer a series of questions and print out your results and share them with your health care professional. Your physician will be able to guide you to your best treatment options and next steps.
Share and raise awareness
If you are struggling with PTSD now or any other Occupational Stress Injury, share your journey with others. By sharing your story, you may help someone else struggling with similar feelings to know that they are not alone. If you prefer a less public method of sharing your feelings, consider starting a journal to track your feelings and reactions to triggers.
Raising awareness about PTSD is important, we hope that you will join us here at Families of the RCMP for PTSD Awareness community as we rallying together today and every day of the year to help raise awareness. Remember that you can help do your part to erase the stigma and educate.