November 2, 2011

State of Alabama
Press Release: Mental Health, Department of

Timely Conference Addressing PTSD Will Be Held in Mobile This Thursday and Friday

MONTGOMERY – A timely conference called “From Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder to Post-Traumatic Stress Growth” will be held this Thursday and Friday, November 3 and 4, at Fort Whiting Armory in Mobile. Aimed at addressing the needs of Alabama servicemen and women mentally scarred by combat, as well as others experiencing trauma from recent natural and manmade disasters, the conference is open to health care providers as well as the general public.

The Center for Governmental Services at Auburn University is facilitating the conference sponsored by the Alabama Department of Mental Health. Partner organizations include the Alabama National Guard, Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs and Alabama Department of Public Health. The conference will feature keynote speeches from General Peter W. Chiarelli, vice chief of staff of the U.S. Army; George Everly, Ph.D., at Johns Hopkins University; and Commander Jerry O’Toole, Psy.D., with the Department of Defense’s Deployment Health Clinic Center. The conference is designed to bring together primary care professionals and military personnel interested in understanding how to prevent, assess, treat and heal the invisible wounds of PTSD. Sessions will also focus on promoting resiliency and helping survivors to thrive.

ADMH Commissioner Zelia Baugh said, “This conference will provide a great opportunity for professionals and the public to learn more about PTSD, its symptoms and treatment. For many of our Alabama servicemen and women, as well as families who have been affected by the Gulf Coast oil spill and April tornadoes, PTSD symptoms may not become a problem until months or years after their trauma.” Toby Warren, chair of the Committee for Resilience and Post-Traumatic Stress Growth, said, “What we are trying to do with these best practices is give working examples that are legitimately improving the quality of life of people trying to overcome trauma. You are going to learn what one person can do to make a difference for others.” For more information about or to register for the conference, call 334-844-4782.

PTSD can affect people of any age, gender or socio-economic background. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about one in 30 adults in the U.S. are diagnosed with PTSD in a given year.

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RESOURCES

Project Rebound provides counseling and assistance to those affected by the April tornadoes and Gulf Coast oil spill. For more information, visit www.projectrebound.org.

More information about PTSD can be found by visiting the National Institute of Mental Health’s website at http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml


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