The Kansas City National Security Campus All Abilities Network and Veterans Network are collaborating to bring to awareness to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month this June.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, PTSD may occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event or have encountered threatening situations, violence or serious injury. PTSD can manifest in a variety of ways including, stress, anxiety, depression, flashbacks and nightmares.
“I find it meaningful to support those with PTSD because we are helping those who carry out our national security mission every day,” said Steve Tanner, Global Security Sr. Director and Warriors’ Ascent board member. The Kansas City National Security Campus has sponsored Warriors’ Ascent since 2019.
Jeffery Schmidt is the Leader of the KCNSC Veterans Employee Network and an Army veteran with 23 years of experience. He says that the Veterans Employee Network values KCNSC’s partnership with Warriors’ Ascent and the help they bring to those veterans and first responders struggling with PTSD, giving participants of the program a way to cope with PTSD and develop ways to deal with it in their day to day lives.
“I’ve had several close friends over the past two years commit suicide, and it wreaks havoc on their family and friends, it’s a statistic that we need to help curb, which is why Warriors’ Ascent is so valuable for this community. This program helped people turn a corner and given them a will to live,” says Schmidt.
Warriors’ Ascent helps veterans and first responders manage their PTSD through a holistic five-day program that includes activities such as yoga, and mindfulness and therapy exercises guided by the University of Kansas’ Cofrin Logan Center for Addiction Research and Treatment. These activities are specifically chosen to help participants learn to manage their PTSD at home. Program graduates are invited to keep participating through weekly virtual meetings. More than 500 veterans and first responders have completed the program since 2014.
“A lot of the people we work with perceive a stigma associated with it and don’t want to come forward and say, ‘I need help.’ They don’t want to feel like they can’t deal with something on their own. When they come here they feel like they’re not alone, and it’s very validating,” said Mike Kenny, Executive Director of Warriors’ Ascent.
If you are interested in volunteering with Warriors’ Ascent, visit warriorsascent.org.