August 29 marks the 25th anniversary celebration of the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The history of the Center highlights its leadership in research and education to promote better prevention, diagnosis and treatment of PTSD.
Dr. Matthew Friedman, the Center's Executive Director from creation until the end of 2013, now Senior Advisor: "Our most important accomplishment is that we helped educate policymakers as well as the general public that PTSD was not something that happened only to Vietnam Veterans, but could happen to Veterans of other wars and to any man, woman or child faced with a catastrophic event. When we started, PTSD was a controversial diagnosis. The Center's research and educational initiatives helped establish the scientific basis for PTSD, and disseminated that information globally."
From its start, the Center's initiatives have had great influence in the understanding and treatment of PTSD. The depth and breadth of work accomplished by the Center includes many key milestones that have shaped the field of trauma and PTSD.
While the Center has made great strides in PTSD research and education over the past 25 years, we continue to look ahead. Our Centerwide Operational Priorities inform future areas of research focus and include (1) Biomarkers; (2) DSM-5, (3) Treatment efficiency, effectiveness, and engagement, (4) Care delivery, models of care, and system factors, and (5) Implementation.
Dr. Paula Schnurr, Acting Executive Director, who served as Deputy Executive Director of the Center since its creation: "We have come a long way in the past 25 years, but there remains much more to be done. We must continue to increase our scientific understanding of PTSD through research and develop better evidence-based treatments as well as prevention strategies. We also need to raise public awareness of PTSD and help people with this mental health problem get the care they need. I am confident that we can and will meet these challenges."
To learn more, read our News and Views coverage of the 25th anniversary celebration of the Center.
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Center Staff Researchers, clinicians, educators and administrative staff at the Center's seven Divisions are dedicated to helping people who have experienced trauma. Interested in working with us? See Positions Available.
"I really appreciate [the Center's] collaborative stance. Their scientists and clinicians have an openness to collaboration that has allowed our group and others to establish ongoing relationships that are personally and professionally rewarding." - Robert Ursano, MD, Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress, Uniformed Services University School of Medicine