PTSD and You - Installment #2

If you have PTSD, you are not alone.

If you do not have PTSD, you are not unaffected.

When it comes to PTSD, you may think it affects a relatively small population. You may believe if you don’t have a friend or family member who has served or is serving in the military, you’re not likely to come in contact with anyone who suffers from PTSD.

The truth is, PTSD is more common than you might think and more groups of people are susceptible than you would imagine. Here are some general facts to help put its prevalence in perspective:

  • 70% of adults in the U.S. have experienced some type of traumatic event at least once in their lives. That’s 223.4 million people.
  • Up to 20% of these people go on to develop PTSD. As of today, that’s 31.3 million people who struggled or are struggling with PTSD.
  • An estimated 8% of Americans – that’s 24.4 million people – have PTSD at any given time.
  • An estimated 1 out of 10 women develops PTSD; women are about twice as likely as men.
  • Among people who are victims of a severe traumatic experience 60 – 80% will develop PTSD.
  • Almost 50% of all outpatient mental health patients have PTSD.
  • In the U.S., somewhat higher rates of PTSD have been found to occur in African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans compared to Caucasians.
  • In addition to military members, more susceptible groups include: first responders, fire fighters, police, emergency medical service providers, hospital staff, educators, students, females,


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James Benson, Chief Communications Officer

James Benson is a career public relations executive with over 38 years’ experience communicating with diverse audiences in a wide variety of venues. A retired Air Force officer, he spent the latter half of his Air Force career as a public affairs officer enjoying a series of one-of-a-kind positions with equally unique communication challenges. From arranging press conferences, to producing news and training videos, to explaining research, development and contracting issues to the media, he enjoyed tuning in to each audience to ensure the message was received and understood. As the marketing director of a mid-sized hospital, Mr. Benson directed the advertising and promotion of membership and referral programs and community health fairs, conducted outreach efforts to rural health care clinics and community education programs, created a trade show display and produced and hosted a radio health program. At the Department of Veterans Affairs, Mr. Benson served as a senior public affairs executive responding to media requests, preparing senior officials and subject matter experts for media interviews, hosting a magazine-style television program with benefit information for Veterans and providing emcee support for numerous department and public ceremonies and special events. As an adjunct professor, Mr. Benson has taught classes in communications for the past 10 years. Currently, Mr. Benson is providing strategic communications, media relations and marketing support to B & G Educational Innovations, LLC, makers of ReaLifeSim clinical simulation training products