US Stamps

Healing PTSD semipostal to be issued Dec. 2 in Charlotte, N.C.

Nov 8, 2019, 2 PM
The United States Healing PTSD semipostal stamp will be issued Dec. 2. The stamp will sell for 65¢, with the 10¢ surtax benefitting the Veteran Affairs National Center for PTSD and its work to help individuals who are contending with post-traumatic stress disorder.

By Michael Baadke

A new United States semipostal stamp will be issued nationwide on Dec. 2 in support of treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

The first-day ceremony for the Healing PTSD stamp is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday at McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square, 345 N. College St., in Charlotte, N.C.

Speakers at the event were not formally announced, but they may include Paula Schnurr, the executive director of the National Center for PTSD; and Chuck Denny, founder of the American Veteran Foundation.

Denny is the son of U.S. Navy veteran Garland Denny (1931-2015) who long sought support for a postage stamp that would honor and support America’s military veterans.

The ceremony is free and open to the public with limited seating. Anyone interested in attending the event can register online.

The stamp design features a photograph of a green plant sprouting from the ground, which is covered in fallen leaves.

“The image is intended to symbolize the PTSD healing process,” according to the Postal Service. USPS art director Greg Breeding designed the stamp. The photograph is by Mark Laita.

Sales of the Healing PTSD semipostal will raise funds for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which oversees the National Center for PTSD. The nondenominated stamp inscribed FIRST-CLASS+ will sell for 65¢ when issued. The stamp will fulfill the current 55¢ postage rate for domestic first-class letter mail, and the 10¢ surtax will be collected for the national center.

The stamp is the second to be issued following passage of the Semipostal Authorization Act, now Public Law 106-253, which grants the USPS discretionary authority to issue and sell semipostal fundraising stamps to advance such causes as it considers to be “in the national public interest and appropriate.”

The Postal Service will issue five semipostal fundraising stamps over a 10-year period in the current program, with each stamp to be sold for no more than two years.

The nondenominated Alzheimer’s semipostal stamp issued Nov. 30, 2017 (Scott B6), was the first stamp issued in the program.

Earlier semipostal stamps in support of breast cancer research (Scott B1, B5), early responders to the 2001 terrorist attacks (B2), reducing family violence (B3) and animal conservation (B4) were issued in response to legislation passed by Congress.

As part of the program, the Postal Service considers proposals for future semipostals and will do so through May 20, 2023. Guidelines for submitting semipostal proposals to the USPS Office of Stamp Services can be found online.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder described by the National Center for PTSD as “a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault.”

The National Center for PTSD advances clinical care for veterans and other individuals who have experienced trauma or suffer from PTSD.

“Tens of millions of Americans will experience PTSD in their lifetimes,” according to the Postal Service. “Today, the nation is increasingly dedicated to compassionately treating this mental health issue.”

Treatment for the disorder can include what is described as trauma-focused psychotherapies, which involve focusing on the memory of the event or its meaning, according to the national center.

Other therapies help the patient with processing reactions to the trauma and managing symptoms.

Symptoms can include reliving the event, avoiding situations that invoke memories of the event, negative changes in beliefs or feelings, and feeling keyed up.

According to its website, “The National Center for PTSD was created in 1989 within the Department of Veterans Affairs in response to a Congressional mandate (PL 98-528) to address the needs of Veterans and other trauma survivors with PTSD. The Center was developed with the ultimate purpose to improve the well-being, status, and understanding of Veterans in American society.”

The center adds that it has emerged as the world’s leading research and educational center of excellence on PTSD.

Technical details and first-day cancel ordering information for the Healing PTSD semipostal stamp will be published by Linn’s when they become available.

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