Oklahoma City Indian Clinic offers resources during PTSD Awareness Month.
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City Indian Clinic (OKCIC), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit clinic providing health and wellness services to American Indians in central Oklahoma, offers mental health resources every day, but especially during PTSD Awareness Month.
According to the National Center for PTSD, eight million adults have PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) during a given year, and 7-8% of the population will experience PTSD at some point in their life. PTSD Awareness Month is a great opportunity to seek out mental health resources.
“Some people don’t realize PTSD can affect anyone,” said Misty Gillespie, LMFT, OKCIC’s Director of Behavioral Health. “It can affect anyone who has experienced a traumatic event, even young children.”
The National Center for PTSD categorizes trauma as either war and combat, violence and abuse, or disaster and terrorism. All categories of trauma can lead to PTSD, no matter age or gender. The National Center for PTSD also lists the four main symptoms of PTSD: reliving the event, avoiding things that remind you of the event, having more negative thoughts and feelings than before the event, and feeling on edge or nervous.
Trauma-focused therapies and antidepressants are both treatment methods recommended by the National Center for PTSD. OKCIC’s Behavioral Health department provides adult outpatient counseling, including Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. EMDR has strong evidence proving its effectiveness in treating PTSD.
Additionally, OKCIC has several talking circles and educational groups available. The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy educational groups are designed to teach coping mechanisms and skills to regulate harmful thought patterns. Talking circles are less formal and based on the sacred tradition of sharing circles. These groups are designed to combine Native American culture, support and community bonding.
“Treatment is an individual process,” Gillespie said. “We’ll work together to find the option that works best for you.”
OKCIC’s Behavioral Health department also has an after-hours crisis line for mental health emergencies. This line will put you in touch with a licensed therapist who can help you with your mental health crisis. Please call (405) 463-4966 to reach this line.
There are also several self-help options available to treat PTSD. The National Center for PTSD has a free mobile app called PTSD Coach to help you try out different coping techniques and see what works best for you.
If you need help finding a therapist, the American Psychological Association has an online psychologist locator. This tool allows you to filter by location, specialty, insurance accepted and gender of the provider. You can also ask your primary care provider, friends or family for a recommendation.
Living with PTSD isn’t easy. Seek treatment with a behavioral health professional.
About Oklahoma City Indian Clinic
Oklahoma City Indian Clinic was established in 1974 to provide excellent health care and wellness services to American Indians in central Oklahoma. The clinic staff cares for more than 20,000 patients from over 200 federally recognized tribes every year. American Indians can receive a range of services, including medical, dental, pediatrics, prenatal, pharmacy, optometry, physical fitness, nutrition, family programs and behavioral health services. For more information, please call (405) 948-4900 or visit www.okcic.com.