New Jersey commuters headed for Manhattan via the Lincoln Tunnel may notice a new billboard featuring a medical worker and the caption: “It’s part of my job.”
In Sacramento, California, where devastating wildfires raged out of control last year, another billboard with the same headline shows a firefighter battling a blaze, while one in Dallas features an infant with the headline, “It was a long time ago,” a reference to child abuse and neglect.
The ads are part of the “Your Trauma is Valid” campaign launched by mental health treatment startup Stella. The message? Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) isn’t just about veterans or survivors of large-scale catastrophes.
“Getting in a wreck, losing a pet, growing up through divorce—those are all traumatic experiences,” said Matthew Erley, the company’s chief growth officer. “There are so many ways that people go through and experience trauma and there are ways to heal from that.”
Stella markets an unconventional treatment for PTSD called a stellate ganglion block (SGB). It involves injecting an anesthetic into the bundle of nerves at the base of the neck to regulate the “fight-or-flight” response.