Post Traumatic Stress Disorder awareness presented at ELAC

By Mannie Miguel

Vice President of Student Services Oscar Valeriano held a conference for teachers and faculty to talk about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder last week at the E7 building.

The presentation, conducted by Manuel Martinez, M.S. team leader at East Los Angeles Vet Center focused on veterans who attend colleges and universities.

Martinez said that the purpose for this event is to “address the issues for PTSD for faculty and to identify a student with the problem.”

Martinez talked about the history of PTSD, the recognition of it, its different levels and how can teachers and faculty members help the students at East Los Angeles College.

He also talked about how PTSD developed in wars like the Neapolitan War, World War I and II, and the Vietnam War until it was recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) in 1980.

He explained how PTSD came about by the advancements of weaponry which led to multiple and prolonged deployments.

His statistics show about a veteran commits suicide per day and that for every dead soldier in combat, 10 come home wounded.

Martinez said that this may be due to post deployment vehicular death, where veterans tend to commit suicide within six months of coming back home.

He also said that soldiers not only struggle to serve their country well, but they also struggle to  make ends meet and balancing their families.

“A marriage can survive one deployment, maybe two. After that, most marriages fail,” Martinez said.

Martinez  said on top of failed marriages, these veterans come home feeling out of place, as if they cannot go back into society seamlessly. Veterans come back with no work experience, and no means to keep a roof over their head.

Martinez statistics say that about 24-30 percent of veterans are unemployed. He added that this number could be low because not that many veterans use services available.

Most veterans also deal with multiple drug dependence, whether it be pain medicines for various ailments to drug usage to help numb the daily remorse of combat or to feel better about today.

Martinez also said that most Veterans who attend college tend to drop out because they tend to go to school because its the only way to earn money and be able to pay for everyday life expenses.

Linda Lam, a worker at the Career and Jobs Center was one of the faculty members who attended this presentation said, “ I was amazed by the levels of students dropping out.” Lam said she appreciated the suggestions made to better help students stay in college.

He said the military has changed over time to better help our veterans for post deployment healthiness. They have addressed veterans psychological, physical, mental, financial and economical well-being once they go back into society.

Martinez said that there are thousands of veterans out in society who still need help and that it is our duty to help in any way possible.


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