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A Quick Word

As an art collective concerned with public health and community wellbeing, the IAA believes trauma and gun violence are both pertinent to our art advocacy. While we seek to use art and advocacy to improve the lives of those suffering from PTSD and the aftermath of gun violence, the IAA has no mental or physical health expertise and is not a substitute for professional help.

If you want to learn more about how the IAA uses art to address public health and trauma, check out our webpage on "All Bullets Shatter: Uncounted Stories of Gun Violence and Trauma."

Destigmatizing PTSD

What is PTSD?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (or PTSD) is a mental health response that is triggered after experiencing or witnessing a traumatizing event. Some (but not all) of the symptoms of PTSD can include flashbacks, persistent or uncontrollable thoughts about the inciting event, and severe anxiety and nightmares (Mayo Clinic). 


It is typical for people who go through traumatic and terrifying events may have these symptoms for a little while, but, if these symptoms continue and grow over a longer period of time, it is possible that they may have PTSD. This can also be very disruptive to one’s life, family, friendships, and can make it difficult to trust people, solve problems, and even communicate with others.


According to the National Center for PTSD, “6 out of every 100 people (or 6% of the population) will suffer from PTSD at some point in their lives.” This means that about 15 million adults will be diagnosed with PTSD at some point in their lives, but that is not even close to the vast number of people that have experienced trauma. In fact, studies show that around 60-85% of people have experienced trauma in their lifetime.

Here at the IAA, we want to shine a light on this issue, and provide an introduction to important resources for those who need them the most.

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