Erin Maynard is a passionate advocate for people with PTSD. Her lifelong commitment to education and awareness stems from a personal tragedy and her own diagnosis of PTSD in 2008. Since then, she has dedicated her life to supporting others with the diagnosis so they can learn about effective treatments, access quality care and battle the stigma associated with this misunderstood mental health condition. Her ability to connect with others and to articulate the problems associated with PTSD makes her a phenomenal community organizer and she prides herself on developing neighborhood resources. Erin is especially motivated to bring awareness to the usefulness of service dogs for those with PTSD and the importance of special Veteran court systems for former service members with PTSD.
Erin Maynard is the current president of PTSD Survivors of America, a national 501(c)3 nonprofit, which serves people with PTSD regardless of trauma causation. She joined the organization in 2011 and began acting as an administrator for the group's online support network. After overseeing the organization's public relations department, she was asked to join the Board of Directors in 2013, serving in the capacity of vice president. In February 2014, she became the organization's president and CEO.
Additionally, Erin has contributed articles regarding post-traumatic stress disorder for a number of other charities, including the Ryan Patrick Kennedy House. She is also a volunteer at the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center, a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) certified therapeutic equine program, where she works with children facing a variety of needs, including those with PTSD.
Previously, Erin was a member of the award-winning communications department at Nassau BOCES, which focused on public relations for the county's public schools.
She has also worked as a pharmacy sciences instructor at the Sanford-Brown Institute. She passed her CPhT exam in 2001.
Erin also maintains a blog detailing her own personal struggles regarding living with PTSD.
Erin's undergraduate degree was obtained from Empire State College, where her concentrations were English and cultural studies. Her current studies in anthropology and environmental sciences are being completed at the University of Buffalo. She is proud member of the St. Anthony's High School (Huntington, NY) 1996 class of graduates.
Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl wrote in his book "Man's Search for Meaning" that “an abnormal response to an abnormal situation is normal behavior.” Frankl was a Holocaust survivor, having spent two years and seven months as a prisoner of the Nazis. His entire immediate family, with the exception of his sister Stella, was killed. Frankl understands trauma and grief.
What he says about trauma is so important when examining PTSD. PTSD is a normal response to an abnormal, horrific circumstance. It is not an indication that the person is weak or crazy. PTSD is a complex neurobiological disorder which can be successfully treated with therapy, medication and complimentary care.