PTSD UK Founder Awarded MBE in New Year's Honours List

PTSD UK is delighted to announce that Jacqui Suttie, our Founder and CEO, has been awarded the prestigious Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) award in the 2024 New Year’s Honours List. The honour acknowledges Jacqui’s outstanding dedication and contributions in the field of supporting people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a condition that is estimated to currently affect over 2,612,000 people in the UK.

Jacqui’s transformative journey from ‘the darkest place [she] could imagine’ to becoming a beacon of hope for others is inspiring. Diagnosed with PTSD in 2015 after a traumatic sexual assault two years earlier, Jacqui faced years of debilitating fear, flashbacks, panic attacks and a relentless struggle with daily life following the trauma she experienced – but there was nowhere for her to turn to for support and understanding.

Following Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) treatment, Jacqui not only reclaimed her life but also discovered a fresh sense of purpose. The lack of understanding, provisions and information that Jacqui experienced, made her realise that help and education was sorely needed for everyone affected by PTSD and its ‘sibling’ condition Complex PTSD (C-PTSD).  Jacqui used her professional expertise in digital marketing, solid educational background with both undergraduate and master’s science degrees, and her unwavering passion and dedication to found PTSD UK – the only charity in the UK dedicated to supporting everyone affected by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, no matter the trauma that caused it.

Jacqui Suttie MBE and Dr Bessel Van Der Kolk
Jacqui Suttie MBE and Bessel Van Der Kolk MD at the Boston International Trauma Conference this year

Driven by the desire to offer hope, support, and understanding to those affected by PTSD and C-PTSD, Jacqui established the charity, developed the PTSD UK brand, constructed the website, managed social media accounts, and authored all content during her lunch breaks at work and evenings at home. In the last 8 years however, despite only being funded by the generosity of our supporters and fundraisers, PTSD UK’s reach has grown substantially and become a vital resource, providing supportive, reliable, high-quality and easy-to-understand resources to educate, help empower and inspire resilience in everyone affected by PTSD and C-PTSD, to help them work towards successful, sustained recovery.  Jacqui’s unwavering commitment and dedication to ensuring nobody else feels as helpless, hopeless and isolated as she did, sets an inspiring standard for the entire organisation.

The MBE award, announced today, reflects Jacqui’s significant impact on people affected by PTSD and C-PTSD through this work. Furthermore, Jacqui holds the distinction of being the first recipient of the MBE citation for ‘services to people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder’.

The PTSD UK team and board of trustees express immense pride and joy in Jacqui’s well-deserved honour – a true story of resilience and a shining example of ‘Post Traumatic Growth’. As she receives this distinction, we hope that it will further amplify the message and mission of PTSD UK, showcasing the importance of providing knowledge, compassion, and support for people navigating the complexities of trauma.

Jacqui commented on the news, saying, “This is an absolutely incredible honour, and I am immensely grateful and humbled. It’s taken so long to sink in because it means so much to me. If the ‘Jacqui of eight years ago’ could see me now, I wouldn’t have believed it. I was unable to leave the house alone, my world was crumbling around me, I was terrified of everything, and had nowhere to turn to for the answers I desperately needed. But now, I get the unbelievably empowering privilege of leading a national charity supporting thousands of people, and genuinely transforming peoples’ lives. Receiving an MBE is not just about personal recognition for me however, it’s a testament to the collective efforts of everyone in our small team at PTSD UK and our amazing supporters. It is a shared triumph that highlights the pressing need for increased awareness of the causes, symptoms and treatments of PTSD and C-PTSD. I feel very privileged to receive recognition for my work and a mission I deeply care about, and hope that this will show others who are in the depths of the condition to see that things can get better, and Tomorrow CAN be a new day!

PTSD UK extends its heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has supported the charity’s journey and contributed to this significant milestone. Jacqui’s MBE recognition provides a platform to propel our mission forward, ensuring we can expand our reach, drive change, offer crucial resources and support, and continue to offer stories of triumph over trauma to inspire and uplift.

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You’ll find up-to-date news, research and information here along with some great tips to ease your PTSD in our blog.

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Treatments for PTSD

It is possible for PTSD to be successfully treated many years after the traumatic event occurred, which means it is never too late to seek help. For some, the first step may be watchful waiting, then exploring therapeutic options such as individual or group therapy – but the main treatment options in the UK are psychological treatments such as Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprogramming (EMDR) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

Traumatic events can be very difficult to come to terms with, but confronting and understanding your feelings and seeking professional help is often the only way of effectively treating PTSD. You can find out more in the links below, or here.