By Matthew Feldhaus, Community Services Program Manager
PTSD, Post-traumatic stress disorder, affects members of our society in uniform and those who have never served. However, according to RAND, at least 20% of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have PTSD and some military counselors believe this number should be even higher. It is something that affects service members who have served overseas in or around combat and those who have just endured the stresses of training and military life. Another staggering statistic is that 50% of those suffering from PTSD don’t seek counseling or assistance. WHY? It may be due to the stigma it is believed to carry, or perhaps ‘seeking assistance’ could be viewed as a sign of weakness. The stresses and anxieties of PTSD are things that should not be endured alone, and an Iraq War veteran by the name of Christian Benedetto has created a resource that could be a safe outlet for those who have not sought professional support.
Christian is president and co-founder of WNYHeroes, Inc. and active advocate for service members. He founded the largest PTSD journal in the country, aptly name The PTSD Journal. There has been overwhelmingly positive feedback from veterans as this seems to be viewed as a safe place to open up and share their stories. It has been distributed to VFW posts, AMVETS, DAV, various law agencies, and some local VA contacts. Lack of awareness of resources is a prevalent issue in many service industries, and veteran service agencies are no different. This is a valuable resource that needs to be distributed and spread so service members, veterans, and anyone undergoing the struggles of PTSD and its’ symptoms can find a possible outlet.