In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the focus on the difficult times faced by our African-American community, I would like to call attention to another crisis facing our country. The month of June was PTSD Awareness Month. In a given year in the U.S., about 8 million people experience PTSD. Eleven to 20 out of every 100 veterans experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Besides combat, causes of PTSD include child abuse, rape, witnessing a mass shooting or experiencing a natural disaster. Many health care providers working during COVID-19 are expected to develop PTSD. There are 22 soldiers/veterans who commit suicide every day in the U.S. from depression. This number is increasing especially in the 18- to 30-year-old veterans and women veterans. 

There are a wealth of treatments available to PTSD sufferers. I know because I returned from six years of combat duty in 2010 and used that help. If you know a victim of PTSD, assist them in getting help.

Retired Col. Beverly Smith-Tillery, St. Petersburg