Join members of the Dartmouth community this Friday, May 19, 2010 at 3:30pm in Rocky 003. Bryan Adams, a speaker from "The Heard", a "renowned speakers bureau that has reached over a million young adults with mental health education," is coming to campus to talk about his experience with PTSD after serving in Iraq. This should be an incredibly interesting opportunity!!
Later this week, Sexual Assault Awareness Month will be wrapping up. This year the theme for SAAM was "Prevent Sexual Violence... On Our Campuses". While violence prevention should be emphasized throughout the year, SAAM brings national attention to the prevalence and impact of sexual violence.
Thank you to everyone who attended Speak Out and joined us for dessert and conversation last wednesday. Speak Out was an incredibly powerful and successful event. I was blown away by the record number of community members in attendance; we filled the room to capacity.
In the wake of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, the people of Port-au-Prince and the surrounding region have demonstrated the need for an unprecedented amount of support. While many organizations have stepped in and provided medical care, food, and shelter to the many victims injured and displaced by the damage, mental health care will soon need to be addressed in the region. In particular, the incidence of post traumatic stress among victims of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake is expected to be high.
In the long term, after trauma, it is easy to lapse into a negative attitude. Recovery is a long process and can certainly be frustrating. To me, everything seemed to be taking too long. After a year, I still felt the impact of the trauma on my ability to focus. I didn't understand why I was still having to deal with stress responses to my triggers. It was and still is frustrating that I feel like I've made huge strides in recovery, but I still feel as though I'm not back to "normal".
I am one of the board members of DartHeart, a nonprofit organization started by a group of Dartmouth students in the fall of 2007. We provide individual advocacy, support groups, and access to our network of resources for students dealing with post traumatic stress while in college. Currently our efforts are focused on working with sexual assault and domestic violence survivors and veterans.