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Gazette series on PTSD promotes understanding

To the editor:

I wish to express the appreciation of the Department of Mental Health Western Massachusetts Citizens Area Board for the series of articles in the Gazette on recovery from post-traumatic stress disorders.

We are grateful to reporter Suzanne Wilson for her informative and nonjudgmental portrayal of the veterans’ experiences and to the veterans themselves and their families for their courage in coming forward and telling their stories.

As many as 90 percent of people receiving services in the public mental health system — veterans and others — have experienced trauma or violence. Even for those not diagnosed with PTSD, their trauma experiences may contribute to problems with mental illness, addiction and physical health issues such as diabetes and heart disease.

Understanding and addressing the implications of trauma are critical to providing effective treatment and services.

The Gazette should be recognized for giving Wilson the time and the space to develop this important series. The series, we believe, will lead to more understanding of the role of recovery in mental illness and the hope it gives us all.

I trust other local media will follow your example in increasing awareness about the impact of trauma and violence and the many avenues to recovery from mental health illness.

John Hornik


The writer is president of the Department of Mental Health Citizens Area Board.

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