“I Have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)” Card from New Mexico Solutions

New Mexico Solutions
“I Have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)” Card

Dr. David Ley, Executive Director at New Mexico Solutions, has provided to DBSA Albuquerque a PDF version of NM Solutions’ brilliant “I Have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)” card that is now available to download and print from the DBSA Albuquerque website.

New Mexico Solutions “I Have PTSD” Printable Card


What is the New Mexico Solutions
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Card?
How Can the NM Solutions PTSD Card Help Me?

The NM Solutions PTSD Card is developed to be carried by peers in their purse, their wallet, or even in their pocket, and is something that a peer experiencing symptoms of PTSD can provide to law enforcement, medical providers, first responders, and anyone who could benefit knowing that, when in crisis, sometimes we peers just need a few moments to collect ourselves, to employ our coping skills, to tap into our mindfulness exercises, to think through our WRAP (Wellness and Recovery Action Plan), and with these few moments we can often subdue these PTSD symptoms on our own.

Sometimes, PTSD symptoms can appear to be confrontational, or these symptoms can make us momentarily unresponsive. It isn’t a matter of defiance or an inability to cooperate. The symptoms of PTSD can manifest unexpectedly and can be overwhelming. Anxiety, fear, panic, confusion, disassociation, difficult breathing… these are all symptoms common to PTSD.

For some peers, encounters with law enforcement and first responders is a potentially significant trigger for PTSD symptoms, and in these situations it’s often difficult or nearly impossible to communicate this simple message that is on the NM Solutions PTSD Card:

“I sometimes have panic attacks in response to challenging situations. If I seem anxious, upset, or am having trouble breathing, please just give me a few minutes and allow me to calm down. Please do not think I am defying your instructions or refusing to cooperate. I appreciate your understanding of my condition.”

In these instances, the New Mexico Solutions PTSD Card is a perfect solution for a very real need for many, many peers.

At DBSA Albuquerque, we have made the NM Solutions PTSD Card available at our weekly support groups. Now, we can offer visitors to our site the opportunity to download and print this card for yourself, your loved one, and your community.


What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Source: http://www.samhsa.gov/disorders/mental

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD is characterized as the development of debilitating symptoms following exposure to a traumatic or dangerous event. These can include re-experiencing symptoms from an event, such as flashbacks or nightmares, avoidance symptoms, changing a personal routine to escape having to be reminded of an event, or being hyper-aroused (easily startled or tense) that makes daily tasks nearly impossible to complete. PTSD was first identified as a result of symptoms experienced by soldiers and those in war; however, other traumatic events, such as rape, child abuse, car accidents, and natural disasters have also been shown to give rise to PTSD.

It is estimated that more than 7.7 million people in the United States could be diagnosed as having a PTSD with women being more likely to have the disorder when compared to men.

Risk for PTSD is separated into three categories, including pre-traumatic, peri-traumatic, and posttraumatic factors.

  • Pre-traumatic factors include childhood emotional problems by age 6, lower socioeconomic status, lower education, prior exposure to trauma, childhood adversity, lower intelligence, minority racial/ethnic status, and a family psychiatric history. Female gender and younger age at exposure may also contribute to pre-traumatic risk.
  • Peri-traumatic factors include the severity of the trauma, perceived life threat, personal injury, interpersonal violence, and dissociation during the trauma that persists afterwards.
  • Post-traumatic risk factors include negative appraisals, ineffective coping strategies, subsequent exposure to distressing reminders, subsequent adverse life events, and other trauma-related losses.

Diagnosis of PTSD must be preceded by exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or violence. This may entail directly experiencing or witnessing the traumatic event, learning that the traumatic event occurred to a close family member or friend, or repeated exposure to distressing details of the traumatic event. Individuals diagnosed with PTSD experience intrusive symptoms (for example, recurrent upsetting dreams, flashbacks, distressing memories, intense psychological distress), avoidance of stimuli associated with the traumatic event, and negative changes in cognition and mood corresponding with the traumatic event (for example, dissociative amnesia, negative beliefs about oneself, persistent negative affect, feelings of detachment or estrangement). They also experience significant changes in arousal and reactivity associated with the traumatic events, such as hypervigilance, distractibility, exaggerated startle response, and irritable or self-destructive behavior.

“APD Not There To Diagnose” by Marion Crouse

Originally published in the Albuquerque Journal, August 15, 2011, as a letter to the editor.
Republished by permission of the author.


“APD Not There To Diagnose” by Marion Crouse

I am a member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Many times at NAMI support groups, the Crisis Intervention Team unit of the Albuquerque Police Department is mentioned.

It is my understanding that the APD does all that it can to bring nonviolent people with mental illnesses to hospitals instead of to jail, and it is my understanding that the APD does all that it can, with the Crisis Intervention Team, to determine who has a mental illness and who, of these, is nonviolent.

I joined NAMI-Albuquerque in 1998 after having been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 1997 while I was serving in the U.S. Navy. My purpose for joining NAMI was to seek support, to learn information about managing my mental illness, and to help reduce the stigma of mental illness on a larger scale.

My having schizophrenia does not alter my morals; I am still the same person as I was before I got sick.

For good or bad, having a mental illness does not change people’s hearts, although it can alter their minds.

So, if I do not wish to be judged as hostile simply for having schizophrenia, by the same token, if I were to commit a crime, I also could not be judged as peaceful simply because I have a mental illness. That’s a call the police would have to make in seconds, while they are approaching me to arrest me for any crime that I would be committing.

The police officers do not wish to become heroes for justice by dying in the line of duty. Unfortunately, sometimes the call “officer down” is made.

It is my opinion that it is not the responsibility of the APD to determine which criminal needs mental evaluation and which criminal is deemed legally sane when officers of the APD are threatened by an adult.

It is the duty of the APD to defend law-abiding society, and sometimes that means defending themselves.

Mental Health Response Advisory Committee (MHRAC) Meeting; July 19, 2016 – 5 PM to 7 PM – The Rock at NoonDay

What: MHRAC July 2016 Meeting
Where: The Rock at NoonDay, 2400 2nd St. NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87102
When: July 19, 2016 – 5 PM to 7 PM

Tonight, the Mental Health Response Advisory Committee is holding its July 2016 meeting. MHRAC is a group of community stakeholders dedicated to collaborating with the Albuquerque Police Department in developing training, procedures, and policies that promote positive and productive outcomes of peers and APD encounters.

MHRAC needs to hear from YOU. Peers, and their friends and families, are those community members who are directly affected by the work MHRAC is accomplishing, and these meetings open to the general public is where you can be involved in helping guide MHRAC and APD in addressing your issues, concerns and needs.

Last month, we had ten peers in the audience. DBSA Albuquerque would love to see even more of our faces in the crowd. It’d be great if you could attend, and it’d be great if you bring other peers, your families, and your friends. DBSA Albuquerque co-president Steve Bringe sits on MHRAC, so we have a very direct voice on the committee.

We hope to see you there!


AGENDA
Mental Health Response and Advisory Committee (MHRAC)
July 19, 2016
5:00-7:00 P.M.
2400 2nd Street NW (The Rock)
1. Welcome First Time Guests

2. Approval of June 2016 Minutes

3. Public Comment (two minutes per person, 15 minutes total)

4. Civnet Presentation (Charlie Wisoff)

5. Update from APD/CIU, Nils Rosenbaum

6. Information on Brian Settin’s meeting on AOT (Jim Ogle)

7. CASA Status Hearing Discussion

8. Open discussion and closing comments from Co-chairs

9. Next meeting, August 16, 2016

DBSA Albuquerque Thursday Support Group is Moving to Our New Home!

Great news! DBSA Albuquerque Thursday support group is moving to our new home at the ROCK at NoonDay!

The ROCK is located near the intersection of 2nd and Menaul with easy Interstate 40 and frontage road access. The location is also more centrally located in the Greater Albuquerque Metropolitan Area with convenient City of Albuquerque public transportation close by.

Our support group will meet at the same day at time: Thursday, doors open at 6:30 PM, group from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM.

There is ample parking onsite.

The ROCK at NoonDay
2400 Second Street
Albuquerque, NM 87102

There will be no Monday Support Group on July 4, 2016

Greetings ABQeans!

DBSA Albuquerque will not be holding peer support groups on Monday, July 4, 2016, in celebration of the Independence Day holiday.

If you would like to attend a peer support group on Monday, July 4, NAMI Albuquerque Connection meets at 6:30 PM at the NAMI Albuquerque office near Menaul and San Pedro. DBSA Albuquerque co-president Steve Bringe will be co-facilitating the Connection group on Monday.

Our Monday support group will resume on Monday, July 11, at the regular time and place.

Happy 4th!