On December 2, the United States Postal Service issued a “Healing PTSD” semipostal stamp that will raise money to be used by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs for the National Center for PTSD. With this semipostal stamp, the U.S. Postal Service will raise funds to help treat those impacted by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The stamp features a photo illustration of a green plant sprouting from the ground, which is covered in fallen leaves. The image is intended to symbolize the PTSD healing process, growth and hope.
Thousands of American military and civilians will experience PTSD sometime in their lifetimes. Today, the government is increasingly dedicated to compassionately treating this mental health issue.
Many kinds of trauma can lead people to experience persistent symptoms such as intrusive thoughts, nightmares, and difficulty sleeping. Depression, anxiety, and fear can also occur. Though these symptoms may initially interrupt one’s daily life, for most people they typically dissipate over time. However, if these problems continue for more than a month, PTSD may have developed. Symptoms associated with the disorder often can be broken down into four categories: avoidance, hyperarousal, increased negative beliefs and feelings, and reliving.
The two most common treatments for PTSD are medication and psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy. The disorder cuts across demographic lines, though women are at a greater risk than men. Women are more than twice as likely as men to suffer PTSD at some point in their lives.
There is a very high suicide rate for veterans. One in five veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with a total of over 300,000 veterans by the end of 2012. The social and economic costs of PTSD are immense. First-year treatment alone costs the government $8,300 per person or more than $2 billion so far. Veteran organization state there are 22 military (veterans and current enlisted) personnel that commit suicide every day.
Sold at a price of 65¢ per First-Class stamp, the PTSD stamp is a semipostal. The price of a semipostal stamp pays for the First-Class single-piece postage rate in effect at the time of purchase plus an amount to fund causes that have been determined to be in the national public interest. By law, revenue from sales (minus postage and the reasonable reimbursement of costs to the Postal Service) is to be transferred to a selected executive agency or agencies. Net proceeds from this stamp will be distributed to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which oversees the National Center for PTSD.
If you or a loved one are experiencing PTSD, please contact the office of Veteran Affairs. There are a variety of agencies that can assist with treatment programs. If you are a Veteran in crisis or concerned about one, connect with the caring, qualified responders for confidential help. Many of them are Veterans themselves.
Call 800-273-8255 and press 1