By Staff Sgt. John PortelaJuly 3, 2018
8th Theater Sustainment Command observed PTSD Awareness Day by kicking off the morning with Soldiers and family members participating in an awareness run on Joe Takata Field, here on Fort Shafter.
A restorative yoga session, was also conducted on the field and led by volunteer instructor, Joan Benitez.
Benitez recommends yoga as a stress reducer and as a way to clear one's mind.
"A Soldier once asked me why I teach yoga in such a noisy place" Benitez said. "It's all about resiliency. It's about hiding the mind. If I can get them to breath and enjoy their moment themselves, with all the noises going on around them, they are able to adjust better with PTSD."
Booths were located around the perimeter of the field, providing information on resiliency, healthy living and resources to seek help if needed.
"I really think that this is a really important event," said, Linda Bass, U.S. Army Pacific Health Promotion Project Manager and event Coordinator. "We have suicide prevention day, we've got domestic violence and child abuse awareness and prevention days. We really don't have an Army mandated PTSD awareness day."
Addressing PTSD and its symptoms is the first step in the recovery process.
"It is kind of a diagnosis with the kind of symptoms that could lead to all those other things like suicide, like domestic violence, like child abuse," said Bass. "PTSD affects more individuals than we actually know. So this is really why we want to prevent the other things from happening, so let's address PTSD symptoms."
The afternoon ended with informative briefs and testimonials at Richardson Theater, promoting readiness, resilience and the ability to bounce back.
"I think it's helpful to stay aware of PTSD," stated SFC Iziah Carthens, Support Operations, 8th TSC. "I think it's important to let people know that we are aware of it, and that we have the resources and those with PTSD have help."
"We really want to encourage individuals to get help when they need it and to engage with their battle buddies or their family members if they see signs and symptoms that they may be experiencing PTSD or some issue related to trauma," said Bass. "If they haven't sought help before, we encourage them to seek help now."