How a new postage stamp will help people with PTSD

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, Vt. (WCAX) When it comes to research and education for post-traumatic stress disorder, the National Center for PTSD in White River Junction is leading the way. And now anyone can support that cause by simply buying a stamp.

Dr. Matthew Friedman founded the National Center for PTSD in White River Junction three decades ago. He now works as a senior advisor and points to its website as one example of the cutting edge work being done in the field.

"We support clinicians in the field who are providing the hands-on treatment," Friedman said. "We develop diagnostic tools to help them diagnose PTSD. And we develop treatments."

Monday, PTSD treatment got a financial boost. A new postage stamp was unveiled by the United States Postal Service. The Healing PTSD stamp costs 65 cents, which is 10 cents more than a regular first-class stamp. The extra dime will go to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to support patients with PTSD.

The sprouting green plant in a bed of dried leaves is intended to symbolize the healing process.

"I think one of the myths that we want to dispel is that PTSD is untreatable. That is not the case," Friedman said.

It's not just veterans who suffer from PTSD. Upward of 20% of the soldiers from the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been diagnosed. And as many as 9% of all adults in the U.S. show symptoms caused by abuse, national tragedies or natural disasters.

"You know if you develop an effective treatment for PTSD for veterans, it's liable to be effective for nonveterans, as well," Friedman said.

The stamps are now available for purchase both online and at area post offices.