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  • Writer's pictureDenise Powell

A Salute to the Fallen (and their allies)

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which made me think about how the outlook on mental health has changed over the decades. Post-traumatic stress disorder came into use in the 1970s after the Vietnam War and wasn’t officially recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) until 1980. I can’t imagine what my WWII veteran grandfathers felt after they returned home in 1945 at such a young age having just fought a war. They pressed on. They started new families and dove into the industrial revolution with the war in their past. It’s likely the mental turmoil they experienced lasted for years to come yet probably not discussed much, if at all, with anyone.

Therapy is much more widely accepted now than it was back then. We are lucky to live in a time when diagnosis’s and quality treatments for mental health conditions are available to us. Now more than ever, it’s up to us to take advantage of the resources that exist, especially when feelings of isolation are rampant.

During this pandemic, we are combating a very different enemy. It wasn’t a war or PTSD that took my grandfather’s life last week, rather, COVID-19. As a result of this disease, many of us will experience a different kind of trauma. We must remember that there are allies all around us ready and willing to back us up when we need it most. My heart goes out to those who’ve lost loved ones. For resources, go to:

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