BAY COUNTY, Fla. — The month of June is posttraumatic stress disorder awareness month or PTSD.
Even though veterans may come to mind when thinking of the disorder, it impacts all types of people.
Going through a traumatic event can leave a lasting impression both mentally and physically. Life Management Center is hoping to help residents get through the crisis of Hurricane Michael.
“Everyone that’s gone through Hurricane Michael and the aftermath of the hurricane is dealing with problems from that. We’re all human. We have emotions,” said Community Relations Specialist, Tricia Pearce.
Since the storm, Pearce says they’ve seen an increase in mental health needs. “Most of what we’re seeing are stress reactions, not necessarily something you’d classify as PTSD but we have seen an increase in PTSD. “
She says one difference between the two is time. “It has to be long term. Something that lasts longer than two weeks, is affecting someone that long and it’s interrupting and affecting their lives. It may be affecting relationships. It’s affected their ability to work or go to school.”
While situations are different, Pearce says the need for support is the same and showing someone that support is the best thing anyone can do.
“If you feel comfortable, have a conversation with them, ask them what they’re feeling. If it gets extreme enough that you’re worried about suicide, ask them if they’ve considered suicide.”
Another issue Pearce says is, sometimes people need help but are afraid to ask due to a stigma put on mental health.
“I think we all need to realize mental health is not any different than our heart health.”
If you or anyone you know is in need of help, Life Management Center has a 24/7 counseling line.
That number to call is (850)522-4485.
You can also go into the facility and talk to someone in person at any time.
The center is located at 525 15th Street in Panama City.
For more information and other services, click here.