Salem, Mass. — The 19th annual Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice will be presented May 7, 2011, to Dr. Jonathan Shay, MD, PhD, for helping the military understand the impact of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on veterans and for bringing to public attention the complex realities of war-induced psychological injury.
Thanks to Dr. Shay and others, more than 6,000,000 troops and veterans can now seek treatment for PTSD, though many still fear the stigma that can affect their careers. Untreated PTSD results in ongoing emotional pain and suffering, difficulty with family and jobs, self-destructive and criminal behavior, homelessness, and incarceration of veterans at rates disproportionate to their presence in the population.
The award ceremony will be held at Salem High School, 77 Wilson Street, Salem, MA with a dinner with Dr. Shay at 5:30 p.m. preceding the award ceremony at 7:30 p.m. A reception and book signing immediately follow the ceremony. For more information, cost and reservations, visit
Like those who spoke out against the Witch Trials in 1692, it is Shay's voice and the voice of others speaking out against injustice that have changed the way the military and the public treat a group of citizens, in this case U.S. troops who suffer from PTSD, both during active duty and after. Dr. Shay has helped make it possible for those with PTSD who serve or served in the military to receive treatment so that they have an opportunity to lead a full life.
The mission of the Salem Award Foundation for Human Rights and Social Justice is to recognize individuals and organizations whose work alleviates discrimination or promotes tolerance. The Salem Award is our attempt today to acknowledge what happened during the Salem Witch Trials and to honor present-day champions who speak for those being marginalized, disempowered or oppressed.