At least 20% of Americans struggle with mental health and the numbers seem to be increasing worldwide. Living diminished lives from diagnoses such as PTSD, anxiety, depression and more, the hope is always that people will heal and grow through their trauma – transforming their pain into purpose and trauma into triumph.
History of Posttraumatic Growth Day
Even though there was no official name for it prior to the late 20th century, the symptoms experienced from traumatic events, including wars and natural disasters, had been a notable part of the human experience for many centuries prior to this. Doctors studied those who were “shell shocked” or later those who had “post-Vietnam syndrome”.
The term “posttraumatic stress disorder” or PTSD, made its official appearance in 1980 in the DSM-III published by the the American Psychiatric Association. The term was often used to describe trauma that had come out of the experiences of military service members, but it has also become a household term that describes trauma from a wide range of sources.
Even some of the simplest parts of life can be very difficult for those with PTSD, and the work that is done to grow and transform through traumatic experiences is worth celebrating. Posttraumatic Growth Day was started in 2023 with a link to PTSD Awareness Month. The day was established through the Boulder Crest Foundation, which is a non-profit organization that is committed to improving the life experiences of veterans and their families.
Posttraumatic Growth Day comes with the purpose of encouraging acknowledgement of growth beyond trauma, as well as recognizing that some of the most profound insights can emerge from some of the darkest human experiences and moments.
How to Celebrate Posttraumatic Growth Day
Celebrate resilience and show appreciation for life’s path on this PTG Day! Observe Posttraumatic Growth Day by participating with some of these ideas:
Raise Awareness About Trauma
An important way to participate in Posttraumatic Growth Day is to raise awareness and start the conversation about trauma and PTG, allowing people to see the possibilities for the future, recognizing that there is more in life than the suffering they are currently going through.
PTG Day offers an opportunity to raise awareness about growth when people share their own personal stories of growth as they have overcome obstacles and transformed their life experiences. Stories can be shared personally with friends, family members and others, or they can be put on social media sharing the way they have gone from struggle to strength.
Help Others Grow After Trauma
Folks in the community can get involved with Posttraumatic Growth Day by getting trained and signing up to volunteer or making a donation for organizations who help those in need. This might include a wide range of local or national veterans organizations, as well as mental health groups and nonprofits.
Get Support for Posttraumatic Growth
Whether the need for posttraumatic growth is personal or for a friend or family member, Posttraumatic Growth Day is a great time to organize support for those who need it. Check with a local mental health professional, or contact the PTSD Alliance for resources and support.