Spectrum to host event to raise awareness about PTSD

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- June is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month, and Spectrum Health is hosting a special event to share the story of a Michigan veteran who overcame obstacles after coming back to the United States from Vietnam.

"This documentary is for everybody. I think it is really a great chance to kind of experience what it is like to see Vietnam through somebody's eyes that has been to war there," said Danielle Montag, an improvement specialist with Veteran Support Services at Spectrum Health. "I think it is a great opportunity to just experience camaraderie with other veterans that type of things, but it is for everybody and anybody."

The documentary, "Naneek: A Veteran's Self-Guided Journey to Overcoming PTSD," will air at 4 p.m. at Celebration! Cinema North.

The main character, Tim Keenan, a Vietnam veteran, who just recently won an award for his documentary will be at the event tonight.

Spectrum Health will also offer resources for veterans in the community at the event.

"I know from personal experience when I got out of the military in 2011 it was extremely difficult for me to find the resources that I needed, I was stationed in Texas and I moved home to Michigan and while I might have known some resources in Texas I definitely didn't know them in Michigan," Montag said. "So for myself, I really had to be an advocate and search out the community, find out how to get into the system."

Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.

"Going through war changes people," said Brian Bartman, an Analyst in the Information Services Department at Spectrum who is also a veteran. "You are going to come home and you're going to constantly look for that normal, you know, your baseline is what you were before you left and you are always looking that as this is where I was and this is where I need to be to be normal in everyone else's eyes. But war changes you and it makes you a different person not in a bad way it just changes you, it just changes you."

Bartman went on to say that it's okay to be weak.

"That is my strongest advice... you are your own, you are a person. What happened to you and what's going on inside of you is not your fault. It can be treated and surround yourself with people who love you, surround yourself with people of good character, of good means, of good intentions and let them help you."

For more information email: veteransupportservices@spectrumhealth.og

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