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PTSD Month Raises Awareness of all People Impacted by Trauma

June 18, 2012

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (June 18, 2012) – More than half of all Americans will experience at least one traumatic event in their life and about 7 percent of Americans will experience post-traumatic stress syndrome, or PTSD. Most of them are not military veterans.

During National PTSD Month, TriStar Centennial Parthenon Pavilion wants to help raise awareness in Middle Tennessee about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of those suffering an emotional trauma.

“Post-traumatic stress syndrome was first recognized as an emotional trauma associated with experiencing or witnessing military combat and the public still most easily identifies PTSD with members of the military,” said Alexandre Koumtchev, M.D., medical director for the CLARITY intensive out-patient program at TriStar Centennial Parthenon Pavilion. “In reality, the most common causes of PTSD are not related to military service. The causes are often hidden in our society because they are not pleasant topics to discuss.”

A traumatic event is any scary or horrible thing that a person may experience or observe. Examples include an accident, fire, natural disaster like a tornado or flood, abuse, assault, death, or combat. The sudden loss of a loved one may also cause PTSD.

“People who experience traumatic events, or have someone close to them experience traumatic events, often have some stress-related feelings and reactions in the days, weeks, or months following,” he said. “When stress-related feelings following a trauma don’t go away over time and begin to disrupt a person’s daily life, he or she may have post-traumatic stress-disorder.”

Koumtchev said the good news is that programs are available in our communities to help people heal from their traumatic experience. The first step is recognizing that someone may have PTSD and then helping them find the right professional care.

Common symptoms of PTSD include fear or anxiety, sadness or depression, guilt and shame, anger and irritability, and behavior changes that last more than three months from when the trauma occurred. Anyone experiencing these symptoms can greatly benefit from programs like the trauma-specific track in TriStar Centennial Parthenon Pavilion’s CLARITY program.

“Our evidenced-based program is specifically designed for helping adults heal from their traumatic experience,” Koumtchev explained. “Clients participate in various group classes that are designed to equip them with the needed understanding and tools to facilitate more in-depth therapy as it relates to their trauma.”

CLARITY stands for Connecting Lives; Activating Resources; Integrating the Total You. The four-week intensive out-patient program has two tracks, one for trauma and one for depression. CLARITY helps participants regain mental wellness by focusing on safety, recovery thinking, and communication. The trauma-focused classes meet each Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

To learn more about the CLARITY program and other TriStar Health behavioral health services available for the healing of PTSD and achieving mental wellness, visit TriStarHealth.com or call (615) 342-1919.

Celebrating 44 years of providing quality healthcare to Nashville, Middle Tennessee and the surrounding region, TriStar Centennial Medical Center is a 657-bed comprehensive facility offering medical and surgical programs including behavioral health, 24-hour emergency, heart and vascular, imaging, neurosciences, oncology, orthopaedics, pediatrics, rehabilitation, sleep disorder, and women’s services. An affiliate of TriStar Health, TriStar Centennial Medical Center is home to TriStar Centennial Sarah Cannon Cancer Center, TriStar Centennial Women’s & Children’s, TriStar Centennial Heart & Vascular Center as well as TriStar Centennial Parthenon Pavilion, one of the oldest and largest full-service psychiatric facilities in the region. Round-the-clock care is also available at TriStar Ashland City, a critical access hospital in nearby Cheatham County. The new TriStar Emergency Room at Spring Hill will provide 24-hour emergency care for nearby Spring Hill, Tenn., and surrounding communities when it opens in 2013. For more information about the services offered and health plans accepted by TriStar Centennial Medical Center or TriStar Health, call TriStar MedLine® at (615) 342-1919 or (800) 242-5662, or visit TriStarHealth.com and choose TriStar Centennial Medical Center. TriStar Centennial Medical Center is located at 2300 Patterson Street in Nashville.

About the TriStar Centennial Parthenon Pavilion CLARITY program
The CLARITY Program at Parthenon Pavilion is a four-week intensive out-patient program. It is comprised of two tracks, one for trauma and one for depression.

CLARITY stands for Connecting Lives, Activating Resources, Integrating the Total You. The purpose of the program is to equip participants with the needed understanding and tools to facilitate more in-depth therapy as it relates to their trauma or depression experience. CLARITY is grounded in the cognitive-behavioral framework with a nod to the psychodynamic.

The trauma-focused track (TIOP) is intended to help those individuals who are experiencing psychological problems subsequent to previous trauma or stressful life events. The CLARITY TIOP borrows heavily on the interventions found in Najavits’ (2002), Seeking Safety: A Treatment Manual for PTSD and Substance Abuse. The trauma track focuses on the concept of “safety,” that is, helping participants free themselves from negative behaviors and move toward freedom from trauma at a deep emotional level.

The depression-focused track (DIOP) is intended to help those individuals who are experiencing psychological problems subsequent to depression. The CLARITY DIOP draws heavily on the work of Martell, Dimidijian, and Herman-Dunn (2010), Behavioral Activation for Depression: A Clinician’s Guide. The depression track focuses on the concept of assisting clients to replace avoidant and depressant behavior patterns by activating antidepressant behavior patterns thus creating opportunities for the depressed person to engage in more satisfying and rewarding interactions.

The CLARITY program schedule is for three hours each Monday through Thursday during the four-week program. Participants in the trauma-focused program meet in the mornings from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., and clients in the depression-focused program meet in the afternoons from 1 to 4 p.m.

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