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The Healing Project
MONTGOMERY STANDS TOGETHER

A Collaborative Response to the Beltway Sniper Attacks
 
Launched: October 2003, on the one-year anniversary

Partners:
     •    The government of Montgomery County,
     •    The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
     •    The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), and
     •    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Sidran Institute developed a new public education campaign to provide support, resources, and information on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for Montgomery County residents. The Campaign, aptly dubbed “The Healing Project: Montgomery Stands Together,” promoted community healing and created greater awareness of PTSD and its symptoms.

The Montgomery Healing campaign helped physicians and the general public correctly identify PTSD (which is often misdiagnosed) and helped victims get treatment, which has a high success rate.

The cornerstone of the Campaign was “Why Don’t I Feel Safe Anymore?” a brochure produced in both English and Spanish that described PTSD and its symptoms, encouraged people to get help when they needed it, and offered hope for recovery. The brochure also included a tear-off checklist that citizens could use to identify their symptoms and take to their family physician. The Campaign also included:

     •    A healing weekend – Montgomery County clergy of all faiths promoted community healing, discussed PTSD and the importance of seeking professional help when needed, and distributed Campaign brochures,

     •    Public service announcements and local radio and television interviews to build awareness and provide information,

     •    A fact sheet for doctors, PTSD in Primary Care, including diagnostic criteria, risk factors, and treatment guidelines.

     •    A new website featuring consumer and professional (physician and clergy) resources and information, and

    •    Three professional briefings – one each for physicians, clergy, and county officials.
 
The Campaign was intended to make people aware of the scope and nature of the problem and encourage community residents to get help if they needed it.

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"We help people understand, recover from, and treat trauma and dissociation"