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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Statement by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Recognizing Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Day

News Release

June 27, 2011

Contact: HHS Press Office
(202) 690-6343

Statement by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Recognizing Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Day

Today, on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Day, we recognize the millions of Americans who suffer from this debilitating condition.  PTSD affects a wide range of people, from new mothers to our country's service men and women.

PTSD affects about 5.2 million adult Americans, but women are more likely than men to develop it. PTSD occurs after an individual experiences a terrifying event such as an accident, an attack, military combat, or a natural disaster.  Some people recover a few months after the event, but other people will suffer lasting or chronic PTSD.

HHS' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers a variety of resources to help people who suffer from PTSD and to help their families and friends better understand and deal with trauma and its aftermath. 

We have a responsibility to help Americans who have lived through trauma, especially our nation's service men and women who may be dealing with PTSD.  We owe them the care and resources they need to get well.

One of our key programs is our partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide military veterans and service members, along with their families, assistance with the effects of PTSD through the confidential toll-free Veterans Crisis Hotline, a service that also offers support through a confidential one-on-one online chat service. 

Another important resource is the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (, which assists healthcare providers, educators, and families in helping children of service members deal with stress and trauma.

Also, as part of the Affordable Care Act, we are partnering with the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs to share our best ideas on how to promote prevention and improve the quality of health care for veterans and all Americans.

If you think that you or someone you know has PTSD, you are not alone.  Please take a few minutes to talk with a caring VA counselor by calling 1-800-273-8255 (press "1") or visiting the online VA Chat service at

For a complete list of resources, please visit SAMHSA's Military Families Strategic Initiative Web site at


Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at

Last revised: June 27, 2011

Jodi Kluchar

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