PTSD UK is currently the only charity in the UK dedicated to raising awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder – no matter the trauma that caused it.
It’s estimated that 70% of people who suffer with PTSD in the UK do not receive any professional help at all; some are unaware they have PTSD, and large proportions of those who have a diagnosis are still not getting the help and support they need.
Our outreach project aims to find the people who need the information, support and hope that may be crucial – be that for a PTSD sufferer, or their friends and family.
Why do we need to reach out to people?
There are countless people in the UK with PTSD who don’t know it. They’ve either been misdiagnosed (for example with post natal depression after a traumatic birth) or just feel that their lack of ‘coping’ after a trauma is normal.
Our outreach project would allow us to reach out to the most vulnerable and high-risk communities for example, emergency service workers, new mothers, assault victims, people who’ve been diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses, veterans, rape victims, those who had a sudden bereavement, people involved in road traffic accidents and many other areas.
The outreach would involve the creation of printed and digital assets and the distribution of these amongst these vulnerable communities to help sufferers get the vital information they need to be able to manage and ultimately overcome PTSD.
We hope to collaborate with a variety of services, companies and other charities such as Rape Crisis Centres, Victim Support Services, Emergency Service Staff Networks, Midwives, and Cancer Support Charities, amongst many others to then circulate the information and support we can provide.
Providing information, hope and support to those with PTSD, and their friends and family, will help build much more resilient community - and fight the inequality of provisions given to those with mental health issues. It's estimated that 1 in 10 people develop PTSD and so our work will provide support to numerous communities around the UK.
How can PTSD UK help?
PTSD UK was founded in 2015 by Jacqui after her own experiences suffering with PTSD. The lack of understanding, provisions and information made Jacqui realise that help and education is needed for those struggling with PTSD – along with their friends and family.
Every month, an average of 14,000 people visit our website to educate themselves on PTSD. With PTSD, knowledge is power – allowing people to feel ‘normal’, understand their condition and know that there is hope and treatment available.
PTSD is an incredibly misunderstood condition, so our information means that we can help reduce the impact it has on people’s lives, help ease their symptoms and ultimately reduce the wider impacts of alcoholism, drug usage, self-harm and suicide (all unfortunately common outcomes for those with PTSD).
Our charity aims to raise awareness of PTSD in three main areas – it’s causes, symptoms and the treatments available. These 3 areas are of vital importance to those suffering with the condition.
Causes: Many people have pre-conceived ideas of PTSD, and what can cause it. There is a widespread misunderstanding that PTSD only affect veterans, or those in the armed forces (likely due to it’s previous name of shell-shock) but it can infact affect anyone, of any age. It’s vital that people are aware if they (or a friend or family member) have suffered a trauma, they should be mindful of trauma symptoms, and the possibility of PTSD.
Symptoms: There are two areas in which knowing the symptoms of PTSD are useful. The first is that people may recognize the symptoms in themselves (or a friend or family member) and reach out for help – starting their recovery process. The other is those who are suffering with PTSD, can understand that what they’re thinking or feeling, or how their body is reacting, is ‘normal’ for someone with PTSD – this can be of huge comfort knowing that once the PTSD is resolved, those symptoms will be too. Some symptoms of PTSD feel totally unconnected to the original trauma or the condition itself, so it’s really important people can recognize just how PTSD can affect them.
Treatments: PTSD is a misunderstood condition in many ways – and no more so than the treatments available. As PTSD arises from a specific trauma (or a number of traumas or sustained traumas) it means that the issues and symptoms can be resolved, and effectively treated. There are a variety of therapies and activities than can help ease PTSD symptoms, some immediate, and some longer term, but the current NICE guidelines recommend EMDR and CBT as the main options for the treatment of PTSD.
In addition to those suffering (and those around them), it’s vital that healthcare professionals are aware of all of these elements to look out for in their patients to avoid misdiagnosis, incorrect treatments and lack of the best resources for their patients.