Alabama National Guard partners to fight PTSD

Release #2011102502

MONTGOMERY, AL (10/25/2011)(readMedia)-- The Alabama National Guard is proud to partner with Auburn University's Center for Governmental Services and the Alabama Departments of Veterans Affairs, Public Health and Mental Health for a conference that will focus on understanding how to prevent, assess, treat and heal Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) through individual Post Traumatic Stress Growth (PTSG). The conference will be held at the Alabama National Guard's Fort Whiting Armory, 1630 S. Broad St., Mobile, Ala., Nov. 3 and 4, 2011.

PTSD is a condition that affects thousands of service members throughout the United States Armed Forces. The Alabama National Guard, having deployed more than 17,000 Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen since 9/11, has not gone unscathed from this problem.

This conference will bring together health care professionals and military personnel to assist in understanding PTSD and developing plans to treat and heal this often physically invisible disease.

The conference will have several presentations and best practices forums each day, as well as several keynote speakers including United States Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli. This conference is one of the largest of its kind, bringing in forum members and speakers from all over the United States, from both the military and healthcare arenas.

"We've been sending our men and women to war at a rapid pace for more than ten years now," said the Alabama National Guard's highest ranking officer, Maj. Gen. Perry G. Smith, a key motivator behind the conference. "War is hard. War is physically, emotionally and spiritually stressful at every turn. We, as senior leaders, owe it to these warriors to assess the situation and act to help them when they get home and may suffer from PTSD. They didn't let us down and we need to ensure we don't let them down when they return."

For more details on the PTSD/PTSG conference and for registration information, please visit