no-cold-calling-stickers

Empowering the PTSD Community: Exploring a 'No Cold Calling' Solution

In our commitment to supporting those dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD and C-PTSD), we often look to find innovative solutions that could make a real difference in people’s lives.

Often, our projects and initiatives come from ideas from our incredible supporters, and recently someone reached out to us with a brilliant suggestion – to create PTSD UK branded ‘no cold calling’ stickers for people’s doors. The idea was to deter unwanted visitors by being explicitly clear about why/how their intrusive visit may cause issues to someone living with PTSD or C-PTSD in the hope they may reconsider their unexpected and unwanted ring of the bell, or knock of the door.

The inspiration behind this idea came from a deeply personal place. Our supporter, who had personally experienced PTSD, found the current ‘no cold calling’ stickers to be both rude but also ineffective. People often ignored them, leading to anxiety-provoking and intrusive encounters for people already grappling with the symptoms of PTSD or C-PTSD such as hypervigilance, hyperacusis or flashbacks. Our supporter envisioned a solution backed by the powerful branding and messaging of PTSD UK, that sellers and others would be more likely to respect and adhere to.

Eager to ensure that this initiative would be well-received and truly beneficial, we presented the idea to our community of over 65,000 supporters on social media. The response was overwhelmingly positive, with many expressing their desire for such stickers that could potentially serve as a shield against the distressing impact of unexpected knocks at the door, disruptions or loud noises. The prospect of having a sticker that not only informed but also sensitised others to the realities of PTSD and C-PTSD resonated deeply with our community.

However, alongside this optimism, in the spirit of being thorough and responsible, we acknowledged some important concerns. Recognising the responsibility we hold towards the well-being of those we support, we sought expert advice to ensure that our intentions aligned with the safety and protection of individuals with PTSD or C-PTSD. We reached out to the Lincolnshire Police force, with whom we have previously collaborated and who have been incredibly supportive of PTSD UK and our mission.

The response we received from the Fraud Protect & Crime Reduction team raised an important aspect. While they acknowledged the issue of sellers and strangers disregarding ‘no cold calling’ stickers, they also highlighted the potential risks of openly advertising a resident’s PTSD or C-PTSD ‘status’. Their concern was that such an indication of potential vulnerability might inadvertently make the household a target for crime or negative attention. The team cautioned against proceeding with the idea and revealed that they had reduced the distribution of ‘no cold calling’ stickers due to similar concerns about vulnerability.

In light of this guidance, we made the thoughtful decision not to pursue the creation of these PTSD UK branded ‘no cold calling’ stickers. As an organisation dedicated to supporting people affected by PTSD and C-PTSD, our primary commitment is to the safety and well-being of those we serve. While we were inspired by the enthusiasm of our supporters and the potential impact of such stickers, we must always prioritise protecting those we aim to empower.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude for the suggestion which sparked this important conversation. At PTSD UK, we cherish the input and ideas of our supporters and continue to be open to exploring innovative ways to create a more empathetic and understanding world for those living with PTSD and C-PTSD.

While we won’t be moving forward with the ‘no cold calling’ stickers, we invite our supporters to continue engaging with us and sharing your valuable insights. Together, we will continue to make strides in raising awareness, and providing support for everyone affected by PTSD and C-PTSD.


Many thanks to Lincolnshire Police and the Fraud Protect & Crime Reduction team for your continued support and advice on this.

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Image from Photo by Pavel Danilyuk

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