Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) remains one of the biggest causes of suffering for troops who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has launched a Web resource to reach out to people who need help handling the affliction, calling on fellow veterans to lend support. On About Face, visitors can find all the expected basics, such as an explanation of the disorder, contact information for immediate help and links to more information. But the true value of the site is in its collections of videos featuring veterans talking about their struggles and offering words of encouragement to others.
The video testimonials cover many of the topics important to people with PTSD including how it can affect loved ones, what treatment is like and why individuals did not seek help immediately. Many veterans or active-duty military members dealing with this disorder feel alone or nervous that seeking help will reflect poorly on them. Through About Face, they can see how many of their peers experience the same issues and hopefully feel less isolated and uncertain.
Though much of the VA’s efforts focus on the troops returning from current conflicts, the site, and the department’s resources, are for veterans who served in any U.S. operation.
Homefront Help also has a Facebook page where visitors can gather and share information. If you know of a program that is helping service personnel, veterans or their families please submit that information to Rita Boland, SIGNAL’s news editor.