The United States Postal Service is taking action to help veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder with the release of a new commemorative stamp.
Proceeds from the “Healing PTSD” stamp purchases will be donated to the Department of Veterans Affairs and National Center for PTSD, the Postal Service announced Monday during a dedication event in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The image on the stamp, created by Mark Laita and Greg Breeding, features a sprouting green plant surrounded by withered leaves, a design meant to elicit feelings of growth, healing, and hope, the release said.
“The Postal Service is honored to issue this semipostal stamp as a powerful symbol of the healing process, growth and hope for tens of millions of Americans who experience PTSD,” David C. Williams, vice chairman of the Postal Service’s Board of Governors, said during the dedication.
“Today, with the issuance of this stamp, the nation renews its commitment to raise funds to help treat soldiers, veterans, first responders, health care providers and other individuals dealing with this condition.”
The psychological wellbeing of troops returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is increasingly a focus of mental health studies centering on post-traumatic stress disorder.
Nearly 3 million service members have deployed in support of American war operations since 2001. Approximately 11 percent to 20 percent of returning personnel suffer from PTSD. Some studies suggest that number is as high as 30 percent.
The U.S. Postal Service is authorized to sell such stamps that champion causes it “considers to be in the national public interest and appropriate,” the U.S.P.S. release said.
The “Healing PTSD” stamp, which can be purchased for 65 cents, is the second stamp issued under this clause. In November 2017, a stamp was issued with funds going to Alzheimer’s research.
“Tens of millions of Americans will experience PTSD in their lifetimes,” the release said. “Today, the nation is increasingly dedicated to compassionately treating this mental health issue.”
Stamps can be purchased online or at any U.S. Postal Service location.
Jon Simkins is a writer and editor for Military Times, and a USMC veteran.