The Healing PTSD stamp will not only raise funds for those affected by post-traumatic stress disorder, the semipostal offering will also help lift the stigma surrounding the condition, postal leaders and others said at the Dec. 2 dedication ceremony.
“Whether or not you realize it, you probably know someone who’s suffering from PTSD. … Tens of millions of Americans will experience PTSD at some point during their lives,” David C. Williams, vice chairman of the USPS Board of Governors, told attendees.
Although war and combat are serious risk factors for PTSD, any traumatic event or dangerous situation can lead to the condition.
Many people with PTSD stay silent because it can be hard to ask for help, but advances in brain science are helping to eliminate the stigma, Williams said.
“We have more insight into the causes, and recognize how widespread it is. Also, we know that there are people who care. We know there are treatments that help. And we know that there are lots of reasons for hope,” he said.
The Semipostal Authorization Act grants USPS the authority to issue and sell semipostal stamps to advance causes deemed in the national public interest.
The Healing PTSD stamp — which features a photographic illustration of a green plant sprouting from the ground, symbolizing the PTSD healing process — is available for 65 cents at Post Offices and usps.com. The price includes the First-Class Mail single-piece postage rate in effect at the time of purchase plus an amount to fund PTSD research.
By law, revenue from sales of the stamp — minus the postage paid and the reimbursement of reasonable costs incurred by the Postal Service — will be distributed to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
The ceremony was held in Charlotte, NC. Other speakers included Koby J. Langley, an American Red Cross senior vice president; Chuck Denny, founder of the American Veteran Foundation; Dan Miller, a spokesperson for the Wounded Warriors Project; Donald Tyson, president of the National Alliance on Mental Illness’s Charlotte chapter; and Paula Schnurr, executive director of the National Center for PTSD.
Miller predicted the stamp will raise awareness of the disorder.
“People are going to see this stamp across the country [and say], ‘You know what? Maybe PTSD isn’t such a stigma anymore. Maybe PTSD isn’t something that I need to hide. Wow, the Postal Service even has a stamp for it.”