Speaker Wanner Launches PTSD Awareness Day in Alberta

“Life-changing trauma can begin suddenly and may only last a matter of seconds, but Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can disrupt a person’s life indefinitely. This serious disorder has afflicted thousands of Albertans,” said Honourable Robert E. Wanner, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. “Creating awareness of PTSD paves the way towards understanding and the elimination of the stigma around this mental illness.”

Albertans are invited to join Speaker Wanner for the launch of PTSD Awareness Day in Alberta on June 27, 2016, at 10:30 a.m. in the Legislature rotunda.

The inaugural event will include remarks by Members of Alberta’s Legislative Assembly and community members who have been affected by PTSD. Remarks will be followed by a presentation of the PTSD Awareness Day ribbon and a short reception with light refreshments.

Bill 206, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Day Act, was a Private Member’s bill sponsored by Nicole Goehring, MLA for Edmonton-Castle Downs. The legislation came into force on June 13, 2016. “By dedicating a day, June 27, as PTSD awareness day in our province, we will raise awareness and educate the general public about PTSD, its causes, symptoms, who is most affected, and how to find supports in Alberta,” said Goehring during a statement in Alberta’s Legislative Assembly on May 12, 2016.

A serious mental health condition, PTSD can develop after a person has experienced or witnessed a traumatic or terrifying event. Some jobs or occupations place people in uncommonly dangerous or stressful situations and at a greater risk of PTSD. Military personnel, first responders (police, firefighters and paramedics), doctors and nurses are at a greater risk than those in other professions. According to the PTSD Association of Canada an estimated 8 per cent of Canadians will suffer from PTSD at some point in their lives.