September 1st is World Emotional Trauma Awareness Day

September 1st marks the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II and also marks the first annual World Emotional Trauma Awareness Day. The World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) declared September 1st as World Emotional Trauma Awareness Day because it symbolizes the beginning of what is considered the worst man-made catastrophe in human history, an event in which more than 60 million people died.

World Emotional Trauma Awareness Day is designed to remind us that "wars and other kinds of violence cause the worst trauma states in people, and that trauma can be very difficult, and sometimes impossible, to overcome. The social and psychological consequences are enormous: incapacitating injury, orphaned children, displaced people, trauma, mental health problems, poverty and more," according to WFMH. Trauma can come from a number of different sources, including natural and biological disasters, terrorism, all forms of violence, racism, health-related emergencies, and more. By designating September 1st as World Emotional Trauma Awareness Day, WFMH encourages groups and individuals to call on the world's governments to eliminate all forms of violence and to create social, psychological and health services dedicated to emotional trauma in all countries. In addition, to increase visibility to the day, participants are encouraged to wear a black ribbon as a symbol of mourning for all of those who died during WWII, and to show support for victims of emotional trauma.

"As we mark the 80th anniversary of the start of the Second World War, it is important to remember the major, worldwide, generational emotional trauma that it caused, as well as the lasting impact of that trauma. We cannot forget that all violent and traumatic events have a significant impact on individuals, and there must be a worldwide effort to prevent all forms of violence and provide support services to those who are trying to heal their emotional wounds," said Debra Wentz, Ph.D., President and CEO of NJAMHAA.

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