The Maine Bureau of Veterans Services says that over 19 thousand veterans in the state have experienced symptoms of Post-traumatic stress disorder. Today, they are asking veterans who suffer from PTSD to reach out.
“What we really want to encourage is those who may themselves be having issues to know that help is out there. That there are many individuals and programs for them to get better quality of life.”
“Veterans that are battling PTSD.... it should be more of a badge of honor than a shameful thing.”
Shawn Goodwin of Maine Veterans Project says it is sometimes difficult to convince veterans to seek out the help they need. It’s an issues that required immediate attention.
“Every single day, 20 plus veterans take their own lives as a direct byproduct of the very thing that we're here to raise awareness of today.”
“Unfortunately, it seems like we're battling PTSD as individuals because we feel shunned and ostracized when really, now's the time to band together and be stronger than we ever have been.”
It’s also recommended by Bureau of Veterans Services that people reach out to veterans in a show of support to help end the stigma of PTSD.
“One of the things we really encourage people to do is not stop at "thank you for your service" but actually "tell me about your service." Being able to engage in a dialogue with veterans, I think, opens the door for a conversation about a whole host of things that they may want to talk about.”
“Get to know a veteran. Get to know their story. I promise you, if a veteran is willing to share part of their combat stories with you, it's such a special thing. Just embrace the culture. Learn about it but don't look at veterans as if their walking around with a third eyeball.”