Measure Makes June 27 Annual ‘Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Day’
Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Cleopatra Tucker, Gordon Johnson, Jamel Holley and Joann Downey to raise awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder, which affects millions of Americans, was signed into law on Friday.
“The combat-related post-traumatic stress America’s veterans experience often is misunderstood and stigmatized in a nation that owes its freedom to them,” said Tucker (D-Essex), chair of the Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “Raising post-traumatic stress disorder awareness can help create a climate in which New Jersey’s veterans feel more comfortable seeking help if they need it.”
The new law (AJR-91) designates June 27 of each year as “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Day.” The measure aims to bring awareness to those suffering from PTSD and to encourage people to reach out to others to provide support and remove the stigma associated with the disorder.
“Post-traumatic stress is more pronounced among those who have served in the military,” said Johnson (D-Bergen), who served in the U.S. Army Reserve. “One of the most important ways in which we all can express our gratitude to them is by knowing the signs and helping them overcome barriers to treatment.”
“Many individuals who go through a traumatic experience then have to deal with reliving that experience every day, and they don’t know where to turn,” said Holley (D-Union). “Raising PTSD awareness is about equipping New Jersey residents with the tools they need to help family members, friends and neighbors who may be suffering.”
“It can be difficult for someone who hasn’t experienced post-traumatic stress disorder to understand what a loved one is going through, even if it’s clear that something isn’t right,” said Downey (D-Monmouth). “Taking action to remove the stigma and encourage those who are suffering to seek proper treatment can save lives.”
The measure gained unanimous approval from both houses of the legislature prior to receiving the governor’s approval.