A mental health agency wants to get information about post traumatic stress disorder in the hands of those who need it, and recently held a free presentation to do so.
CoastalCare hosted an open lecture May 20 inside its building located at 165 Center St., in Jacksonville The organization provides an oversight of mental health, intellectual disabilities and substance use for the residents of Brunswick, Carteret, New Hanover, Onslow and Pender counties.
During the lecture, mental health advocates collectively reviewed a presentation, discussing topics such as effected demographics, potential triggers and how to diagnose symptoms. Contributors reminded attendees that while PTSD is widely known for affecting military members, anyone who has experienced a traumatic event may be impacted. Also discussed were many other areas of life that sometimes get overlooked when dealing with a mental disorder.
Ray Tucker, representative of the National Association of Black Veterans, shared his knowledge with everyone in attendance.
“Many of the veterans we work with are still suffering from PTSD,” he said. “Applying for disability claims can sometimes be very long and tedious, and we would like to help them with this process. I’m also here because I feel you can never be too educated about the subject.”
As supplement to the presentation, resources and therapy techniques were freely provided by members of both CoastalCare and Nami, a grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of those affected by any mental illness. According to Nami president Sally Waters, the group offers education, support, and a free 12-week course that lets people interact and converse with other families who are dealing with similar problems.
“We are here to tap into people who might benefit from our program,” Waters said. “Helping family members understand mental illness and teaching them coping skills can be a life-changing experience. We plan to teach another class in the fall at First Baptist Church on Gumbranch Road. We can have up to 20 people per session, and they usually last around two hours.”
Nami offers many other activities in addition to the family-to-family classes. Monthly meetings are held at 9:30 a.m. the second Saturday of each month at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Morehead City, and weekly support groups gather on Tuesday evenings. Additionally, Nami offers a program designed for parents of children who show the symptoms of a mental illness before the age of 13.
For more information on mental health or to register for an event, Nami can be reached at 252-354-4722. CoastalCare’s office can be contacted at 855-250-1539 and its 24-hour crisis hotline may be reached at 866-875-1757.