Read Proclamation Here
Governor Kathy Hochul today issued a proclamation declaring June 27 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Screening Day, as part of National Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month, to emphasize the importance of mental health and encourage individuals, especially Veterans, to undergo screenings. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can affect anyone who has experienced or witnessed traumatic events, such as combat, disasters, accidents, injuries, or assaults. Many Veterans of our nation's armed forces experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after enduring military-related trauma, including physical, emotional, and psychological injuries stemming from their experiences.
"We recognize that PTSD can have a profound impact on individuals' lives and believe in the significance of early identification and intervention," said Governor Hochul. "By taking the initiative to get screened, we can identify the signs of PTSD early on and ensure that those who have experienced trauma receive the support they need. It is essential to prioritize our mental health and break the barriers of stigma, because healing begins with awareness."
To facilitate self-assessment, individuals can utilize the National Center for PTSD self-screening tool, a concise questionnaire consisting of five questions. By honestly answering these questions, individuals can gain insights into the potential presence of PTSD and its impact on their well-being. A score of three or more positive responses may indicate the need for further evaluation by healthcare professionals.
New York State Department of Veterans' Services Commissioner Viviana DeCohen said, "PTSD Screening Day serves as a crucial reminder that mental health deserves our utmost attention and support, without any stigma. We urge Veterans and all individuals who have experienced trauma to take advantage of this opportunity for self-reflection and seek the necessary support."
New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Marie Sullivan said, "Post-traumatic stress disorder affects approximately seven percent of individuals at some point in their lives and is often unrecognized and untreated. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Screening Day is an opportunity to raise awareness about PTSD and to urge all our friends and family members who may have symptoms of PTSD to talk to their doctor about getting screened."
Governor Hochul has made mental health a priority for her administration, having recently secured passage of a comprehensive $1 billion multi-year plan that will increase access to mental healthcare and dramatically reduce the number of New Yorkers with unmet mental health needs. The historic investment in mental health will expand inpatient and outpatient services, including trauma-informed programs that are especially effective in supporting and treating people who are impacted by PTSD.
Governor Hochul has also directed millions of dollars to support the mental health of New York's Veterans, providing $7.7 million to expand the Joseph P. Dwyer Peer-to-Peer Veterans' Support Program statewide and ensure that every Veteran in New York has access to the critical peer support and resources provided by this program. The Dwyer Program offers a non-clinical support model by Veterans to Veterans struggling with PTSD, traumatic brain injury (TBI), suicidal ideations, and other mental health challenges.
In May 2022, Governor Hochul also announced the launch of Worried About A Veteran — an online lethal means safety resource designed to help prevent suicide among Veterans and service members. Developed by the Department of Veterans' Services and the Office of Mental Health over more than two years this family-focused resource assists military families and caregivers by providing a Veteran or service member a person to speak with during a time of mental health distress