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Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Years of war lead to more PTSD/Fireworks safety and laws

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Jun 30, 2017 4:51 AM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Friday, June 30, 2017:

June is PTSD awareness month. Post-traumatic stress disorder is currently defined as a mental health condition that may develop after exposure to severely traumatic events. Symptoms can appear immediately, or years after the events. Survivors may face years of residual trauma through flashbacks, dreams, and many other symptoms. Due to the stigma surrounding mental health and psychotherapy, many go untreated, which can result in depression, severe anxiety, substance abuse, and suicide.

Though post-traumatic stress disorder has always been a part of the human condition, it has only been recognized rather recently as a valid and treatable disorder. PTSD was first added to and defined in the DSM III in 1980, and initially used to characterize the after-effects of severe traumatic exposure, such as combat, natural disasters, and sexual violence. The definition has since expanded to include victims of severe psychological and emotional stress.

PTSD is unique in that it is defined and diagnosed by evaluating the traumatic stressor, not the victim.   Much like pain perception, the experience of trauma is also highly subjective, making PTSD complicated to identify and treat. There is still much to learn about this condition. Current treatments for PTSD include therapy and medication. Guided meditation and writing have also been shown to alleviate some of the symptoms of the condition.

Writeface is a Lancaster-based non-profit organization that provides writing workshops for veterans. It offers a safe space for veterans to come together and use guided creative writing as a resource for dealing with psychological stress.

Scott Hower, veteran and co-founder of the organization Writeface, and Annie Ginder, co-founder and journaling instructor for Writeface classes, are on Friday's Smart Talk to discuss their work with PTSD.

Mike Clemens, is a veteran and mentor from the Lancaster Veterans Court. He has taken Writeface classes himself and will be joining the discussion. 

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Scott Hower, veteran and founder of the organization Writeface / Mike Clemens, veteran and mentor from the Lancaster Veterans Court / Annie Ginder, journaling instructor for Writeface classes

State Representative Tom Murt (R-Montgomery) is on the show as well.  He has worked closely on veterans issues, including PTSD.

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PA State Representative Tom Murt (R-152nd)

With Fourth of July celebrations on the horizon, we will also be discussing firework safety and laws in Pennsylvania.  Pennsylvania Fire Commissioner Tim Solobay joins us on the program.

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Pennsylvania State Fire Commissioner Tim Solobay

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