AUGUSTA, Ga. (WFXG) - The CSRA has a large military community and care for those veterans is top of mind for many. June marks National Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month (PTSD)

Local health officials and community representatives are looking to address the issue, especially for veterans who suffer from PTSD.

The Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center's Trauma Recovery Clinic Program, says its dedicated to raising awareness and providing vital support to those affected by PTSD.

Dr. Richard Monroe, the Program Manager at the Trauma Recovery Clinic, explained what is at the center of their program, "We are an outpatient specialty clinic that focuses on evidence-based treatments," he shares, his words carrying the weight of experience and compassion. "This means they are really well established in their research and show the greatest chance of recovery."

For veterans seeking help, Dr. Monroe emphasizes the importance of getting a referral from their VA primary care or mental health provider, highlighting the accessibility of support within the VA system.

PTSD, Dr. Monroe emphasizes, transcends the boundaries of combat, encompassing a spectrum of traumatic experiences including physical assaults, sexual violence, childhood abuse, motor vehicle accidents, and natural disasters.

FOX54 delves deeper into the impact of the Trauma Recovery Program through the testimony of William Martin, Chief of Public Affairs at the VA Augusta Health Care System. 

Martin describes the program as a "game changer".

"You're trying to reach your milestones and working on specific issues that are common to everyone with trauma," Martin explained. 

But the journey towards recovery is not without its challenges, as Army veteran and newly elected Augusta Commission member, Don Clark, shares. "You really overlook your own self-care," he admits, reflecting on the struggles he faced . "It was something I really had to grow into and learn."

Clark calls to action for others to release the stereotypes associated with mental health, to break down the barriers of stigma, and to embrace a community of support and understanding.

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