Posted 10 months ago
By Fred Gough
Screenings and Educational Information provided at www.hmhc.com
As part of National Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month, Horizons Mental Health Center is encouraging the general public to take a brief, anonymous, online self-assessment for PTSD.
Horizons Mental Health Center, a member of the Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System, offers free mental health self-assessments as part of their outreach, education, and prevention program to raise awareness about PTSD and other common mental health challenges, as well as to help individuals struggling with a mental health disorder find opportunities for assessment and treatment. All are encouraged to take these brief assessments, particularly the PTSD assessment, to learn more about these common, yet treatable conditions.
Teryn Irvin, Coordinator of Prevention, Education and Outreach services at Horizons Mental Health Center, says 70 percent of adults in the U.S. have experienced some type of traumatic event at least once in their lives, and up to 20 percent of these people will develop PTSD.
“Sometimes traumatic events affect an entire community, such as the Boston Marathon bombings or the Moore, Oklahoma, tornado outbreak. In other instances, traumatic events can affect an individual,” Irvin says.
Examples of other traumatic events may include: natural disasters, fire, car accident, sexual or physical assault, acts of violence, war, or terrorism.
Most individuals will have stress-related reactions following a traumatic event, but not everyone will develop PTSD. Symptoms of PTSD generally last 4 weeks or more and can make it difficult for an individual to function in daily life. These symptoms can include reliving the event through nightmares and flashbacks; avoiding situations that remind the individual of the event, such as large crowds or driving a car; developing negative changes in beliefs or feelings; and feeling hyper-alert or easily startled.
“PTSD is often associated with members of the military and veterans, but this isn’t always the case,” Irvin says. “While combat veterans do have a high rate of PTSD, we also see PTSD in members of the general public, especially among first responders, victims of violence, or those affected by natural disasters.”
Horizons’ PTSD screening is free and anonymous, providing a comfortable and private way for individuals to assess their symptoms. While the screenings are not diagnostic, they will indicate existing symptoms and if further assessment by a clinician is advisable. The screening site is www.hmhc.com. Guests will want to click on the “Community” tab, then “Online Screenings”. The screenings are accessible 24/7.
Horizons Mental Health Center provides comprehensive mental and behavioral healthcare services to people living in Barber, Harper, Kingman, Pratt and Reno Counties. Their mission is to provide exceptional, comprehensive rehabilitative and preventative mental health services that are affordable, therapeutic, educational, and personalized. Professionals at Horizons envision a community and society where barriers are eliminated so people are able to maximize their opportunities to learn, work, and contribute to their communities.