COLUMBIA- A Pulitzer Prize winning columnist and New York Times bestselling author is in Columbia Friday to expand how people see and understand conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.
Ellis Henican is the author of “Tuesday’s Promise,” which tells the story of former Army Capt. Luis Carlos Montalván, a Purple Heart Iraq War Veteran, and his connection with his golden retriever service dog.
Mizzou College of Veterinary Medicine is hosting this World One Health Day event to celebrate the human-animal bond and the comparative and translational medicine interactions we have.
Henican said this gathering is designed to promote the concept of one-health.
“People and animals - we really do share a lot of health issues together. The things we can teach them and things they can teach us, and ways we can help each other,” Henican said.
Thursday’s event was a special showing of the documentary film "Buried Above Ground" that weaves together the stories of three Americans who battle PTSD and the ways in which canines help those suffering with PTSD cope.
The documentary and Henican’s book both discuss Montalván's struggle with the disease.
“It is so important I think for people to understand that these kind of psychological issues, like PTSD, are not something to be ashamed of, not something that means you’re weak or there is something wrong with you,” Henican said. “They are natural responses to bad stuff that people go through. There are answers to it and service dogs might be one of the answers for some people and therapy and other options are answers for other people.
As Henican’s memoir neared publication, Montalván took his own life in December 2016.
"We got to get to the point that we don’t think this [PTSD] is shameful and we have to start treating it they way we treat any disease,” Henican said. “Which is that it is tough, but with the proper kind of help you can actually get better and get your life back. That’s the hopeful message.
Henican is hosting a lecture at 1 p.m. Friday at the Adams Conference Center, Veterinary Medicine Building, 1600 E. Rollins Street on MU’s campus. The lecture will talk about Montalván and his struggle with PTSD.