As part of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month, an Oklahoma organization wants to remind folks about veterans who suffer from mental health issues.
VFW 577 in Tulsa said their war might have ended, but that doesn’t mean their trauma did, which is why they do all they can to help veterans who suffer from PTSD.
“Kind of focuses on bringing vets together, get them talking to each other and get them talking to us,” Officer Starks said.
Officer Joshua Starks at VFW 577 said that way they can identify the services local veterans need. VFW 577 provides a wide range of services, and Starks said PTSD treatment is something they get asked about a lot.
Starks served 10 years in the Oklahoma National Guard and served 6 years in Afghanistan as a commander. He said with so much going on nowadays, it’s easy to forget about mental health issues.
“It’s more of a priority listing, I think there are so many things out there, it’s hard to keep up with veterans,” Officer Starks said.
The Medical Director at Family and Children’s Services, Dr. Stevan Lahr, said PTSD always begins with trauma.
“That is one of the key features of it, you have to experience something that is either life-threatening or near life-threatening,” Dr. Lahr said.
According to Family and Children’s Services, eight million people in the United States suffer from PTSD every year.
“Depression symptoms, not feeling like themselves, not being able to engage in enjoyable activities,” Dr. Lahr said.
And that’s why starks said they bring thousands of veterans together every year.
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