When you think of PTSD, who do you think of?
For many of us, the first people that come to mind are combat veterans, whose past experiences of trauma continue to impact their lives every day. The US Department of Veteran Affairs published a report in September of this year that found that in 2019, there was an average of 17 veteran suicides per day. Clearly, the relationship between mental health, veteran status, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is something that cannot be ignored.
It is important to recognize the intersection between the populations we serve at Radiant Futures and those who have PTSD. Some survivors in our programs may be veterans themselves, they may have endured harm from a veteran, or they may be experiencing symptoms of PTSD directly related to their experiences of abuse or exploitation.
While symptoms of PTSD may vary, common symptoms include flashbacks, avoiding reminders of the trauma, negative beliefs or feelings, and hyperarousal or hypervigilance. Additionally, those who experience PTSD may be triggered by a specific scent, sound, person, or environment, which can lead to unhealthy coping tools such as substance misuse or emotional numbing.
At Radiant Futures, we conduct a PTSD Processing Group every Tuesday at 5 PM in both English and Spanish. This group provides psychoeducation about the impact trauma has on the overall well-being of a person and provides participants with a healthy environment to engage in conversations about PTSD and learn healthy coping mechanisms. Further, participants are encouraged to navigate our Sensory Room, which can help aid in the healing process by engaging the physical senses. The sensory room allows participants to reconnect with and regulate their senses through visual, tactile, and auditory stimulation.
If you are a survivor of domestic violence or human trafficking and feel you would benefit from our PTSD processing group or sensory room, please reach out to our 24/7 Bilingual Helpline at 877-531-5522. Raising awareness of the complexity of PTSD and how different groups experience trauma is essential to healing for all.