New WRAL Documentary Examines the Impact of PTSD on NC Military Families

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Focal Point: “The War Within”
New WRAL Documentary Examines the Impact of PTSD on NC Military Families
Airs Thursday March 4, 2010, 7pm

Focal Point The suicide rate among Army soldiers hit a record high in 2009, and for the first time ever exceeded the rate in the civilian population.   Many blame Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, which is an adverse reaction to traumatic events that can cause irritability, anxiety, sleeplessness and depression. A new WRAL Focal Point documentary called “The War Within” looks at the impact of PTSD on military families in North Carolina.  It airs Thursday March 4 at 7:00pm and is hosted by WRAL News anchor Debra Morgan.

The military, and the Army in particular, is developing new programs to help soldiers with PTSD in light of the increasing suicide rate.  The suicides of four soldiers who served together in the 1451st Transportation Company, a North Carolina National Guard unit based in Boone, also got the military’s attention and helped lead to the creation of new initiatives to help members of the National Guard suffering from PTSD. 

Unlike regular active duty soldiers, members of the Guard return to their hometowns instead of military bases where support services are more readily available.

Focal Point: “The War Within” profiles the case of one of the four men serving in 1451st who committed suicide.  It also profiles two other members of the Guard who served with that soldier and continue to struggle with PTSD. 

The documentary examines the toll PTSD places on military families and shows the military’s efforts to educate soldiers about PTSD and get help to those who need it.

Click the following link for a video preview of Focal Point: The War Within

Focal Point
“The War Within”” is the latest episode in the WRAL News series called Focal Point.  These in-depth news documentaries focus on a single topic, bringing depth and clarity to complicated issues facing North Carolina.  From North Carolina’s economy and environment, to health care and race relations – Focal Point takes viewers inside the lives of the people most affected.  Focal Point tackles the tough questions with leaders and policymakers who have the power to effect change.  WRAL News anchors, including David Crabtree, Bill Leslie, Gerald Owens, Kelcey Carlson, and Debra Morgan host the series.  Six to eight new episodes of Focal Point will be produced each year. 

Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Debbie Tullos for this capcom story.

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