PTSD Awareness Month
June is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month. According to the National Center for PTSD, at some point in their life, 7 out of every 100 Veterans (or 7%) will have PTSD. The disorder is also more common among female Veterans (13 out of 100, or 13%) versus male Veterans (6 out of 100, or 6%). The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that 1 in 3 first responders develop PTSD. Some symptoms of PTSD include having nightmares or feeling like you are reliving the event, avoiding situations that remind you of the event, being easily startled, and loss of interest in activities.
America's VetDogs serves veterans and first responders struggling with PTSD by providing specially-trained service dogs at no cost. PTSD service dogs are specially trained to support their handler with skills like utilizing dog positioning to extend personal space, performing nightmare interruption, having the dog summon assistance, utilizing their dog for calming and also interacting with the public. As each applicant is accepted to our program, we carefully match them with a dog that’s right for them, and the power of their bond makes ordinary moments extraordinary.
Eligibility: How to get a service dog for PTSD:
If you are a veteran or first responder who is interested in applying for a PTSD service dog
, please review the following information to determine if you meet our eligibility requirements. Our service dog for PTSD program serves veterans with combat-related PTSD and first-responders with work-related PTSD.
• You have served in any of the branches of the U.S. Armed Forces from any era, and have received an honorable discharge.
• You are a first responder who has a work-related disability.
• Applicants with a PTSD diagnosis are required to be in consistent ongoing counseling and have been under the consistent care of a Mental Health Professional for a minimum of 1 year, prior to applying.
• Applicants with a history of substance abuse must be abstinent from all substances for a minimum of 1 year to apply.
• You can independently attend our two-week residential training program.
• You are dedicated to maintaining the dog’s training throughout the life of the team and can provide for the well-being of the dog, approximately $100 per month.
• You are able to meet the needs of an Assistance Dog, and have an appropriate support system in place to do so if/when you are unable to yourself.
How much does a PTSD service dog cost?
All America’s VetDogs services, including our PTSD Service Dogs, are provided absolutely free-of-charge to the people we are honored to serve. This includes the dog, training, transportation to and from the school, room and board during the two-week training program in our newly renovated student residences, as well as a lifetime of aftercare support.
If you or someone you know is struggling with PTSD and meets the requirements above, click here to start the application process for a PTSD service dog.