According to the National Center for PTSD, PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, sexual assault or a pandemic. Anyone who has gone through something like this can develop PTSD.
- About 7 or 8 out of every 100 people (or 7-8% of the population) will have PTSD at some point in their lives.
- About 8 million adults have PTSD during a given year. This is only a small portion of those who have gone through a trauma.
Recently released studies show the COVID-19 pandemic has caused different levels of stress. According to Psychiatric Times, “COVID-19 has already led to diverse mental health problems, including anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and other trauma and stress-related disorders”. In fact, all of the below groups of people have met the criteria for PTSD including:
- individuals who suffered themselves from serious COVID-19 illness and potential death
- individuals who lost family and friends
- healthcare workers who have witnessed the pain and/or death of others
- and those who were on the front lines as journalists, teachers, grocery store, delivery, and sanitation workers and all hospital personnel
After a traumatic event, including a pandemic, it’s normal to have trouble sleeping, to feel on edge or have upsetting memories. People may also have trouble doing day to day activities like going to work or school and being around friends and family. These feelings can go away after a few weeks or months but PSTD symptoms can also start later or can come and go. Be sure to seek support if you need it such as your Employee Member Assistance Program (EMAP). If you don’t have an EMAP, contact a doctor.
HELPFUL PTSD HOTLINE NUMBERS
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (also affiliated with Mental Health America): (800) 273-TALK (8255). Available any time of day or night, 365 days a year, this toll-free PTSD helpline has trained volunteers standing by to provide crisis intervention, to offer support for people in distress, and to give information and referrals to people with PTSD and their loved ones.
Veterans Crisis Line: (800) 273-TALK (8255) and press “1”. This toll-free hotline is available for veterans and their loved ones. You can also send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential, free support and referrals.
Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741. This service is available 24/7 and provides free crisis support and information via text.
National Hopeline Network: (800) 442-HOPE (4673). Available 365 days a year, volunteers who staff this toll-free hotline are specially trained in crisis intervention to provide support, information, and referrals to people in need. You can also access services via chat by pressing the “Chat Now” button on its website.
PTSD Foundation of America, Veteran Line: (877) 717-PTSD (7873). Providing referrals, information, and helpful resources to veterans and their families, this toll-free hotline is available 24/7.
Lifeline for Vets: (888) 777-4443. Also geared toward veterans and their families, this toll-free PTSD helpline provides crisis intervention, referrals, and information.