Dansker & Aspromonte Associates are proud to announce that Jenna Williams is this year’s winner of the PTSD Scholarship. Her winning essay discusses the false portrayal in the media of people with PTSD having violent tendencies.
“In reality, the majority of people with PTSD do not exhibit outwardly violent behavior and are civilians,” William wrote. While the disorder can affect those who have served in the military, civilians constitute the majority of cases, with a third of all sexual assault victims experiencing the disorder.
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Williams’ essay highlighted a shifting within media outlets regarding this issue, however. Citing the television show Night Shift, Williams noted that NBC had veteran experts write, direct, and act in the show to combat negative stereotypes and achieve a more accurate depiction of people with PTSD.
The importance of portrayals in the media is higher than some might expect. As Williams notes, “representation of people with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries is important for
prompting dialogue about mental health, and the inclusion of characters with PTSD can help
deconstruct misunderstandings when created responsibly.”
She ends her winning essay with a call to create a more accurate, compassionate portrayal of people with mental illnesses. “Through minimizing misconceptions about posttraumatic stress, people may be more likely to seek help and receive informed care.”
About Jenna Williams
Jenna Williams is currently pursuing a degree in international studies at Indiana University. She will graduate with a minor in Spanish and a journalism certificate as well. Williams plans to:
- Teach English in Spain following her graduation
- Return to the United States to work in non-profit media organizations
- Eventually attend law school
At IU, Williams is a member of several organizations and clubs, including Women in Government at IU, Reporters Without Borders at IU, and the ASL Club.