PTSD Makes Police Encounters Tough, Mental Health Experts Say - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |


PTSD Makes Police Encounters Tough, Mental Health Experts Say

Posted: Updated:
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Local groups are speaking out about the importance of raising awareness of veterans who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

They risked their lives for their country but face an even harder struggle once home. 

News On 6 spoke to a veteran who said many who suffer from PTSD have trouble reaching for the help they need.

"He had issues reacclimating. Struggling to blend in, and unfortunately, he took his own life," said Joshua Starks with Tulsa VFW. 

Six years of service with the United States Army led Joshua Starks' father down that tragic path. 

Starks said his father struggled to cope with PTSD.

"Seeing my father as I grow up go through that really drove it home for me. So, as we returned home from Afghanistan and was excited to be back home on US soil, it broke my heart to see the cycle continue," Starks said. 

The family of the man killed in Wednesday’s officer-involved shooting in Owasso told News On 6 he served 16 years in the Air Force, deployed on three tours, and like Starks' father suffered from PTSD. 

3/22/2018 Related Story: Owasso Man Shot By Police Suffered From PTSD, Family Says

"Those are some of the most difficult unimaginable situations to be in. That's why they're looking to us and others to get more training," said Mike Brose with the Mental Health Association of Tulsa.

Brose said sometimes when people who suffer from PTSD come into contact with police, a deescalation is needed, but that often isn't an option. 

"People in mental distress sometimes do things that may appear threatening and may, in fact, are threatening so they have to make fast decisions," said Brose. 

Starks said it's incidents like these that drive him to raise awareness for veterans and the issues they bring home. 

"If you see a veteran that's distancing themselves from everybody. If you see that they're not opening up and talking about their experiences or just how they're feeling just that day, please reach out to them," Starks said. 

For more information on how to get help for PTSD, you can find a link for the Mental Health Association here. Or you can visit the Tulsa VFW's Facebook page

Special Features

Live Traffic

Get the latest road conditions on Green Country roadways.

iPhone App

Get breaking news, weather, sports & video directly on your iPhone.

CBS Shows

Watch your favorite CBS shows for free online.


Looking for a website or event you heard mentioned on News On 6? Find it here!

TV Schedule

Need to know what's on TV? Check out our television schedule.

Live Radar

WARN Interactive

Special Coverage

  • Bridge Tracker

    How safe are Oklahoma's bridges? Use Bridge Tracker to find out now.

  • Fallen Heroes

    News On 6 honors our fallen Oklahoma heroes. View our interactive timeline.

  • Murrah Bombing Timeline

    Learn more about the events leading up to and following the bombing.

  • Storm Zone

    Watch tornadoes tear across Oklahoma and learn how to stay safe!

Powered by Frankly
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103 is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KOTV. Oklahoma Traveler™ is a registered trademark of Griffin Communications. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.