PTSD Forum at City Hall Wednesday Night

A free community forum on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), sponsored by the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Association of Santa Clara Valley and Councilmember Kansen Chu, will take place at 6:30pm Wednesday at City Hall.

The organizers want to spread awareness that PTSD is not limited to just military veterans. Anyone who has suffered from a traumatic event or works in a dangerous/life-threatening profession can be a victim of PTSD. The forum is designed to educate and assist attendees in understanding the complex and often misunderstood disorder.

Experts will address PTSD experienced by victims of violent crime, rape and domestic violence. Other topics of discussion will include PTSD suffered by military veterans and public safety servants. Also, two people who were previously incarcerated will share their experiences on life since that time. Resources to assist victims and their families will be available at the forum.

Presenters include: Dr. Agi Schenley, a crisis intervention instructor; Bobbie Lopez, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 52; Robert O’Donnell; and Hector Oropeza. These presenters will be available after the meeting to answer any questions attendees might have.

The event, which will take place in rooms 118-120 at City Hall, requires pre-registration. To register, email [email protected] and note how many people are in your group plan to attend. (Include yourself in the total.)

For more information, call 408.861.5323 or email [email protected].


  1. The psychology/psychiatry industry is at it again. Attention Deficit Disorder. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Now Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Though these conditions undoubtedly do exist and always have, the damage caused by misdiagnosis, by the efffects on impressionable people who imagine they are victims, and by abuse of systems in which there’s a benefit paid out for a ‘disability’ may be far more damaging to society than if we weren’t so eager to publicize and ‘educate’ the public on these sketchy mind ‘disorders’.
    The field of human psychology is not anywhere near the exact science it’s professionals would have us believe. They’re groping in the dark and we’d be wise to question whether they should be followed.

  2. Can’t make this because of a school commitment, but PTSD is a real mental health issue.  I’ve dealt with this in the veteran community and know that folks are haunted by reliving memories of traumatic events that they have trouble living with.

    I know victims of crime as well as criminals who have “live the life” have also experienced PTSD type events and it’s just a hard road to be on.  Stuff haunts you about what happened, what you could’ve done, what should’ve happened, and what really occurred.  Sometimes it takes years to put this traumatic stuff in the past and start living for today and the future.

    Empathy and understanding are key.  You can’t “fix” someone nor can “giving them space to work it out” work as easy solutions.  Both family and friends need to understand the issue and help is available both from the VA and other professionals.  I’ve noticed over time that sharing the feelings and experiences with people you perceive as peers helps more than being counseled by newly minted mental health professionals.

    Like the military, the police and fire department are a fraternity where brothers and sisters in uniform will help you when you are down and in dealing with PTSD type stuff, like the military, the most effective treatments are not to isolate the individual with a clueless MHP but rather embed them with peers who’ve been through the same hard stuff.

    We can do more as a city and as a community, and I hope folks step up to learn about the challenges folks are facing and the things they can do to help them.

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