June has been designated and observed as National PTSD Awareness Month on a federal level since 2014. In 2010, the Senate declared June 27 to be National PTSD Awareness Day. This week, Escambia County came together to recognize June as PTSD awareness month through a local proclamation by the Board of County Commissioners.
The Escambia County Board of County Commissioners unanimously supported this effort, with District 5 Commissioner Steven Barry saying, “Megan Walters was thoughtful enough to bring the fact that June is PTSD awareness month to me a couple months ago, and also helped with gathering some of the information for the proclamation. I know it’s an issue all of our board is extremely concerned about and if I hadn’t brought it forward, then I am certain one of my colleagues would have done so. We are all happy to be shining a light on a very
important issue for millions of people.”
Community advocate, Megan Walters spearheaded this initiative in conjunction with several other projects concerning PTSD awareness this month. When asked why PTSD is important to her, Walters said, “I realized that my community needed to know more about PTSD and my community is my heart. This is where I grew up. This
is where I’ve lived my whole life. I know people all over town and I know the things they are going through. I just wanted to be somebody to let them know, ‘Hey, I’m here for you.’”
Upcoming events for PTSD awareness include the Denim and Rhinestones Gala on June 26 at Pensacola Interstate Fair Grounds from 6 to 9 PM. Tickets are $15 at the door and all proceeds benefit the 2nd Alarm Project, a non-profit with a mission to offer behavioral health resources to firefighters and fire departments in Northwest Florida. Additionally, the public is invited to join volunteers to paint the Graffiti Bridge located at North 17th avenue in order to raise awareness for PTSD, on PTSD Awareness Day, June 27 at 3 PM.
PTSD is defined as “a psychiatric disorder that may occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, or rape or who have been threatened with death, sexual violence or serious injury,” according to the American Psychiatric Association.
More information about 2nd Alarm Project can be found at their website HERE.
For tickets or sponsorship information on the Denim and Rhinestones Gala, visit THIS LINK.