Online Support for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

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The PTSD Forum, http://www.ptsdforum.org, has been progressively built over the past nine months, with the primary aim of providing an easily accessible online support community for all sufferers of PTSD, their spouses, family and friends.

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this type of community provides more scope to assist all sufferers of PTSD, irrespective of the PTSD catalyst the symptoms are generally the same. Whilst no cure currently exists for this mental illness, personal education, techniques and support can assist sufferers and their families towards living a more 'normal' healthy lifestyle once again.

The PTSD Forum, http://www.ptsdforum.org, has been progressively built over the past nine months, with the primary aim of providing an easily accessible online support community for all sufferers of PTSD, their spouses, family and friends.

The creator of the PTSD Forum, Anthony Parsons, has not previously marketed this domain to the mainstream press in order to allow the community to firmly establish itself without the imposition of formal direction or guidance. The PTSD Forum is an online community focused on providing an all hour’s outlet for sufferers, spouses, family and friends of posttraumatic stress disorder, by encouraging communication with others in similar circumstances. In addition, to providing much needed support this forum aims to provide further education about PTSD, updated media information and PTSD management techniques.

Whilst the main focus of this forum is gradually being achieved, future aspirations include the development of this forum into a non-profit organization. It is hoped that this extension of its online services will increase public awareness of this incurable but treatable, serious and debilitating mental illness. Although, many millions of dollars each year are directed towards improving mental health services and increasing public awareness there still appears to be a significant gap in funding and general awareness of mental illnesses. There are minimal direct marketing campaigns or media exposure detailing the real statistics, cost and impact nationally of mental health issues. PTSD, particularly, is one mental illness that rests in the void created by insufficient funding, minimal public awareness and few easily accessible support services. It has a marked, ongoing impact on sufferers and their immediate families.

Current estimations indicate that thousands of people globally are suffering from PTSD without the knowledge that they have this illness or any understanding of this illness and potential treatments. It is in this arena that the PTSD forum endeavours to fill the gap by providing vital, immediate information to anyone who has experienced trauma, in the hope that early treatment may either prevent or lessen the severity of trauma impact. Early access to counselling and support services appears to be the best measure in preventing the development of PTSD. Effectively, this allows a person to gain some measure of perspective and control over an uncontrollable event.

The owner of the PTSD Forum, Anthony Parsons, is a veteran from the Australian Defence Forces (Army) who obtained PTSD from operational service whilst serving in East Timor with the International Force East Timor (INTERFET). The road to recovery continues to be a daily battle lightened by his attendance on the National PTSD Rehabilitation Course in Townsville, North Queensland. The idea to create a PTSD forum was formulated on this course when he realised 'an immediate rapport with those who truly understood what I was going through, and who helped me more than any previous counselling could. I never felt the need to explain my every action, instead I had immediate response and understanding of what I was feeling.'

Anthony Parsons strongly believes that, "this type of community provides more scope to assist all sufferers of PTSD, irrespective of the PTSD catalyst the symptoms are generally the same. Whilst no cure currently exists for this mental illness, personal education, techniques and support can assist sufferers and their families towards living a more 'normal' healthy lifestyle once again."

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