If you are a veteran in emotional crisis and need help RIGHT NOW, call this toll-free number 1-800-273-8255, available 24/7. Veterans should press "1" after being connected. You will likely be asked for your ssn if you are seeking further VA benefits or services.If you live in Utah County check out the volunteer crisis line!
Our Mission: to educate, empower, and entertain Veterans and their families.
Three important points:
The Utah Department of Veterans Affairs says there are approximately 170,000 Veterans in Utah today. Thousands of these Veterans are silently suffering from undiagnosed mental wellness issues. They will do practically anything to avoid the life long stigma of a mental health diagnosis. Their whole family suffers. The community suffers.
Stigma Free Recovery of mental wellness is possible, anonymously. without ostracism. Veterans can help Veterans to get their feet on the ground much the same way alcoholics can help other alcoholics stay sober in AA. You don't need a DD214 or a diagnosis to be helped by peer support. A good example is the NAMI "family to family" program.
The most important factor in a Veterans Recovery of an abundant life is what the VA calls "A Resillient Social Network." A good example is an understanding, supportive family. The whole family is impacted by the injury to one of it's members. The whole family can Recover together. Utah Senator John Valentine says; "It's not therapy. It's not a program. It's friendship."
Bit by bit Veterans, their friends and families can regain that sense of wellbeing lost in the war zone. It's a process, not a destination. Recovery is not easy but it is simple. Just as a stroke victim recovers with therapy and practice, so can a Veteran and their family practice new wellness skills that enable massive change in attitude and behavior.
Let's stress this: The most important element in a Veteran's recovery is a "resilient social network". Ideally, this network is built on the family that will be supportive and accepting of the fact that the Veteran is suffering from a stress related injury, not a character defect. Where there is not family, the Veteran can form a Band of Brothers. A caring socal network can create more change than a hundred hours on the couch. A few Veteran buddies can sometimes save a Veteran that everyone else would give up on.
It's crucial that Veterans understand that RECOVERY is possible, given time and desire. We don't have to settle for heavy medication and industrial strength coping skills. Another recovery key is to be understood, accepted and appreciated just as we are.
Veterans commit suicide when they have lost all hope and the emotional pain is overwhelming. It's crucial that Veterans understand that RECOVERY is possible, given time and desire. We offer HOPE.
We don't have to settle for life long heavy medication and industrial strength coping skills. It's impossible to overestimate the value of being understood, accepted and appreciated just as we are. Little can be accomplished by condeming and ridiculing someone for being "bad" or having a "character defect."
Most Veterans having readjustment problems, chronic difficulty getting or keeping a job, thoughts of suicide, or problems with self medication are not defective; they have stress related brain injuries. You don't need a PhD to help. Your love, acceptance and understanding that the Veteran is likely suffering from a brain injury, not a character defect, is a key element of the path of Recovery.
Recovery is a gradual process, not a destination. Is the Veteran ďhealedĒ? No. The brain does not recover from a stress injury. It's like a stroke. The brain is still damaged but the mind is so resilient that different parts of the brain are recruited to recover lost functions. Little can be accomplished by condemning and ridiculing a Veteran for being "bad" or having a "character defect." Your love, acceptance and understanding can show the Veteran that they CAN Recover. Love is a key to helping Veterans discover the path of an abundant life.
Utah Senator John Valentine says; "It's not therapy. It's not a program. It's friendship."
You may donate to the Central Utah Veterans Nursing Home in Payson by sending your check to
The Utah Department of Veterans Affairs
550 Foothill Drive, Salt Lake City Utah 84158-0897
The first thing to understand is the difference between the natural person and the fictitious person called a corporation. They differ in the purpose for which they are created, in the strength which they possess, and in the restraints under which they act.
Man is the handiwork of God and was placed upon earth to carry out a Divine purpose; the corporation is the handiwork of man and created to carry out a money-making policy.
There is comparatively little difference in the strength of men; a corporation may be one hundred, one thousand, or even one million times stronger than the average man. Man acts under the restraints of conscience, and is influenced also by a belief in a future life. A corporation has no soul and cares nothing about the hereafter....
—William Jennings Bryan, in his address to the
Ohio 1912 Constitutional Convention
"A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy." --Samuel Adams
Another Thought to Consider
"It is the duty of nations as well as of men to owe their dependence upon the overruling power of God;
to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance
will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and
proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord.
We know that by His divine law, nations, like individuals, are subject to punishments and chastisements in this world.
May we not justify fear that the awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land may be a punishment inflicted
upon us for our presumptuous sins; to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people?
We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace
and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God.
We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied an enriched and strengthened us, and we
have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom an virtue on our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming
and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.
It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently, and gracefully acknowledged, as with one heart and
one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also
those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November
as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens."
The SSDRC is published, edited, and maintained by Tim Moore, a former disability claims examiner for the social security administration's disability determination services (DDS), as well as a former caseworker with a background in many federal assistance programs, including medicaid for disabled adults.
The goal of Tim Moore's site is to provide information about how the federal government's disability programs work, the idea being that qualified information may lead to better choices as to how to initiate and pursue claims and appeals, and potentially avoid time-consuming and costly mistakes. In many instances, a foreknowledge of how claims are adjudicated, an insight into how to navigate the federal disability system, and proper case preparation, particularly at the administrative law judge hearing level, may lead to faster resolutions on cases and an increased probability of approval.
Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
Thanks to Pete Koense for this video clip
"Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them -- work, family, health, friends and spirit -- and you're keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls -- family, health, friends and spirit – are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.” This is from a book called Suzanne's Diary to Nicholas by James Patterson - passed on by Linda Taylor by Lynn McKell.
Historically, men have not been comfortable discussing issues about their health, particularly conditions like diabetes, depression or sexual dysfunction. This has resulted in shorter and less healthy lives for men in the United States compared to women.
Click on the pyramid for full size
I was not aware that depression is caused by, or even a part of, diabetes. Fortunately, we have a medical system that allows science to progress with better medicine. Another note: Our friend Nancy Card points out that the pyramid above is from 1995. She suggests checking out the new (2005) food pyramid from the USDA. Good call Nancy. Thanks
Times have changed and so have men. We are now in the era of the modern man. Modern men have a strong grasp of their disease and related conditions, they actively engage their health care providers, and proactively manage their health.
The American Diabetes Association is encouraging all men with diabetes to become "modern men." Take the modern man challenge. Get out, get active, get informed!
By all means, check out this site. There is an ocean of info about diabetes. That info is there for only one reason... to help men have a better, longer life. You can take control of your future. Imagine that! ed.
Heads up! VETERANS AND SERVICE-MEMBERS' SURVIVAL GUIDE. 599 pages of quality info. No filler or ego tripping. A free gift from Bobby Muller and the folks at the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation Download the PDF file here: (2.5 Mb)
More than any war in our history, veterans are coming home with missing limbs from Improvised Explosive Devices. Finding resources that enable these vets to live full lives can be a challenge that can wreck families. Here is a company that might help.
A Look At The Home Access Program and Handi-Ramp
The process of buying and/or modifying a home for wheel chair accessibility should not be as difficult as it is, said Thom Disch, Handi-Ramp President and CEO. Years ago Disch envisioned a nationwide program that puts resources at the finger tips of individuals and families in order to make accessibility solutions simple and pain free. This goal is the heart of the Home Access Program.
Disch began the Home Access Program with the goal of keeping the process as personal as possible. Disch's company, Handi-Ramp, learns who you are, what your needs are and works with you till the job is done. This is not one of those programs that takes your money and leaves you flat. This philosophy permeates the entire Handi Ramp organization.
Handi-Ramp works with a variety of organizations including the Veterans Administration and various trade organizations (ITA & CTE Barter) to provide ramps that make life more rewarding for families with special needs. Read the rest of the story here
Link to Handi-Ramp
If you are a veteran and find you are powerless over substances; there is hope. We have learned by sad experience that one of the most prevalent symptoms of Delayed Stress is the urge to Self Medicate with alcohol and/or drugs. No judgment here, just facts. Often, self medicating leads to serious health problems, conflicts with families -- even trouble with law enforcement including incarceration.
How many suffering veterans end up FIRED, fined 'til they drop, homeless, alone on the street, in jail, or dead from suicide-- after drugs or alcohol get the best of them? One veteran lost is one Too many.
Twenty two vets commit suicide every day, not counting the suicedes in our five largest states. They do not report. How many of these self killers do you think were drunk or whacked when they pulled the trigger or swallowed the pills? So.... if you are a veteran and discover you're powerless over substances; you are not the only one. DON'T GIVE UP. Somebody cares!
When you are ready to begin your recovery... Salt Lake City has the finest residential substance abuse and Brain Flash treatment programs in the entire VA system. It's called "The Eagles Nest." It's there for you! It's not perfect, and there is a waiting list for most of us... But it's worth it! Preference given to OIF/OEF veterans.
Charles Talcott knows the score and is there to help you find a new way to a new life. Call him at (801) 582-1565 extension 1874. Getting started with North Star and recovery can often be done over the phone. Click here for more info about The Eagles Nest
A Tip for Vets with urgent health questions:
Call the"VA Nurseline" toll free: 1-866-369-8020.
For a test, I called at 6 am. The phone rang eight times, then a computer picked up and said "If this is an emergency dial 911 etc". I left a voice msg and four minutes later a registered nurse called me back. She carefully answered my questions about hives. Fifteen minutes later I called back with a follow up question. The phone rang three times and the same nurse picked up. She again patiently answered my questions. How Great is That?
Welcome to Veteran Suicide Prevention.org
Veterans called to serve, still serving.
Proud to Serve Utah Veterans, and their families, with useful, thought provoking info since 2003
This article is by our friend Caleb Anderson of RecoveryHope.org. We don't agree with every word he writes, but think the article is excellent overall. Thank you Caleb. aw
A Sober Holiday Party Can Still Be Merry and Bright
Learning to live sober takes time, willpower, and the gradual extension of social boundaries. This means that holidays, including Thanksgiving and Christmas, can be particularly sticky situations for those in recovery. However, living a full, sober life means facing even the toughest social situations, and learning how to have fun in these situations without using substances. The holidays, for most adults and young people, are synonymous with drinking and other substance use. Preparing to have fun while abstaining will require some advance planning.
(Photo via Pixabay)
Surround Yourself with the Right People
Having a friend around who is also sober, or willing to stay sober for the evening, carries several benefits. Bolde details the perks of having a sober friend by your side, and even though itís from the perspective of a drinker, many of these perks apply to those in recovery. A fellow sober friend will provide someone coherent to talk to, while also serving as a crutch as you maintain your sobriety.
Even if youíre with a friend who is determined not to drink, heading to a house party or another alcohol-fueled event isnít a good idea. Not only will it be tempting to have ďjust one drink,Ē but it can be difficult to have fun amidst a sea of people who are drinking. So, a successful sober holiday should begin with considering activities that are more conducive to sobriety.
Alternatives to the Typical Boozefest
As we get older, the need to drink in order to have fun should diminish. Holidays are still occasions which warrant having some fun, but that doesnít have to mean drinking or using other substances to do so.
Some sober Thanksgiving or Christmas-centric activity ideas you might want to try out include turkey bowling, Thanksgiving bingo, Christmas mad libs, or an ugly sweater contest. Funny games arenít the only way to have a good holiday, so why not tap into the spirit of giving that this time of year inspires and volunteer at a local organization or brighten the day of a stranger with caroling.
It might seem as though alcohol and other substances are ingrained into the holiday season, but this is far from the case. As The Sober School points out, enjoying Thanksgiving and Christmas sans-alcohol requires a mindset shift that only you can make. The contents of your glass arenít what make this time of year fun; itís the people you surround yourself with, and ultimately, your attitude.
If, for whatever reason, you do find yourself in a setting where others are drinking, prepare yourself. If you havenít announced your sobriety to those you plan to spend the evening with, find an explanation for not drinking that youíre comfortable with. For example, one explanation can be that you have to get up early, or that you were tasked with driving that night. If you find that youíre tempted by the environment, consider having a way to exit that isnít abrupt. If you have children, theyíre the perfect excuse, as you can simply say that the babysitter couldnít stay late. Either way, consider how you will exit, especially if itís the difference between you staying sober and taking a drink.
Navigating the holidays while in recovery can be difficult, to say the least. The holidays in particular are a time when many use alcohol as a means to let loose. This can be a problem for those who are trying to stay sober, but also want to continue to socialize. Finding somebody who also wants to have a sober holiday and engaging in activities that are conducive to sober fun is the best way to ensure that a sober holiday is also a memorable holiday.
Do you know anyone who could use a friend right now?
The Utah County Disabled American Veterans Chapter
Wasatch 1, is supporting active suicide prevention with a Veterans Hope Squad. You can too. Call Eight Oh One 380-5886. Ask for Andrew.
Hello friends. This landing page is borrowed almost verbatum from www.UtVet.com. We want to have a stand alone page for www.VeteranSuicidePrevention.org. Right now time and money do not allow that.
This landing page is like an airport where you can decide where you want to go and how you want to get there. We want to supply the information that allows everyone to enjoy an abundant, joyous life. Really. It is possible. Even for combat veterans and their families.
Often, it is not what you know but who you know. You can call any of our people and ask any question. We don't have all the answers and we don't do therapy. We offer friendship, our experience, and a genuine desire to assist our fellow veterans and their families. We use our personal experience to refer to any of our mentors. These are real people; not some mindless, heartless answer robots. Not to say you will never get voicemail... but you will reach a person. You will see live logo links below with a brief description of what they offer.
We simply can't include everything and everyone on this page. It would take forever to load. But we certainly can help with a google site search and hundreds of searchable resource pages.
This page is made possible by many affiliated organizations such as the Utah County Veterans Service Organization, Utah County government, the Fraternal Order of Elks Veterans Auxiliary, American Red Cross, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Utah County Crisis Line
(801 - 691- LIFE) and
About The American Legion
and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans
organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. The American Legion is a
nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization with great political influence
perpetuated by its grass-roots involvement in the legislation process
from local districts to Capitol Hill. Legionnairesí sense of obligation
to community, state and nation drives an honest advocacy for veterans in
Washington. The Legion stands behind the issues most important to the
nation's veterans community, backed by resolutions passed by our
volunteer leadership. The American Legionís success depends entirely on
active membership, participation and volunteerism. The organization
belongs to the people it serves and the communities in which it
For more help call or text
801-224-Six 1 Six 8
DAV Department of Utah
are dedicated to a single purpose: empowering veterans to lead
high-quality lives with respect and dignity. We accomplish this by
ensuring that veterans and their families can access the full range of
benefits available to them; fighting for the interests of America's
injured heroes on Capitol Hill; and educating the public about the great
sacrifices and needs of veterans transitioning back to civilian life.
free, professional assistance to veterans and their families in
obtaining benefits and services earned through military service and
provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and other agencies
outreach concerning its program services to the American people
generally, and to disabled veterans and their families specifically;
the interests of disabled veterans, their families, their widowed
spouses and their orphans before Congress, the White House and the
Judicial Branch, as well as state and local government;
DAVís mission of hope into the communities where these veterans and
their families live through a network of state-level Departments and
local Chapters; and
a structure through which disabled veterans can express their
compassion for their fellow veterans through a variety of volunteer
The National Alliance on Mental Illness has a powerful storehouse of information and healing resources for veterans and their families.
About Utah County NAMI
Our mission is to ensure the dignity and
improve the lives of those who live with mental illness and their
families through NAMI Support, Education and Advocacy.
From its inception in 1979, NAMI has been dedicated to improving the
lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. For three
decades, NAMI has established itself as the most formidable grassroots
mental health advocacy organization in the country. Dedication,
steadfast commitment and unceasing belief in NAMI's mission by
grassroots advocates have produced profound changes. NAMI's greatest
strength is the dedication of our grassroots leaders and members. We are
the families, friends and individuals that serve to strengthen our
Due in large part to generous individual, corporate, and foundation
donations, NAMI Utah is able to build on its success and continue to
focus on three cornerstones of activity that offer hope, help, and
healing to our communities: Support, Education, and Advocacy.
For more help call or text
907-301-Six 8 Five 6
The Provo Fraternal Order of Elks Lodge 849
Elks are community.
No matter where you go in the country, an Elks Lodge is right around the corner. With more than 850,000 members and 2,000 Lodges nationwide, Elks are providing charitable services that help build stronger communities.
Army of Hope
Just as the Elks/Wounded Warrior project assists injured veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Elks' "Army of Hope" assists the families of Military Reservists and the National Guard who have been called to active duty during these times of crisis. The response from members and non-Elks has been overwhelming, and government officials at the local, state and national levels have responded favorably to the initiative.
Elks Lodges across the nation adopt tens of thousands of veterans. The Elks visited with them on their birthdays and holidays and showered them with gifts and attention. They took those who could leave the medical centers out to dinner, and brought dinner to those who couldn't. Elks provide entertainment, recreation to liven their spirits. The Elks provided these men and women with comfort, companionship, cheer and understanding, and in the process helped lift some of their loneliness.
The object of the Adopt-a-Veteran program is to make the veteran know that they are part of our family , to replace despair with hope, loneliness with fellowship, sadness with joy, and to prove our motto, "So long as there are Veterans, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks will never forget them."
For the Order of Elks, veterans remembrance is a daily proposition. We never have and never will never forget the sacrifices these heroes made so that we may be free. But it has been a tradition for the Order to redouble its efforts on behalf of veterans in November, not just for Veterans Day, but for the entire month. For the Elks, November is Veterans Remembrance Month.
For more help call
801-318-5 Eight 4 Six
Here are additional veteran and family resources. Do not suffer in silence. Call the Utah County Listening Line.
Veterans who used services provided by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) had much lower suicide rates than veterans who did not use those services.
Veterans who used services provided by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) had much lower suicide rates than veterans who did not use those services, according to a new analysis of a decade of suicide data.
The research was published today in Psychiatric Services in Advance, a publication of the American Psychiatric Association.
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States
Come join The Utah County Veterans Service Organization. We meet the third Thursday each month.
Come join us in room 211, at the Historic County Courthouse, 51 South University Ave. Provo, at 11 am. Come network with us, share your resources to help veterans and their families.
Everyone is welcome. You can check out our work with BYU interns Samantha Jenkins and Liz Farnsworth at www.CelebrateLife4Veterans.org. This is a terrific resource for anyone looking for ways to overcome the drag of post traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury. Great job Liz and Samantha. Thank you.
Randy Edward of the American Legion, Kraig Thorne of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Tim Matthews of the Disabled American Veterans took the initiative to form a new Utah County Veterans Service Organization. All Veterans, individuals, agencies and organizations that serve Veterans are encouraged to join. There are no costs or dues involved.
I agree. A Wilson
Current Events Often Increase Severity of Veterans' PTSD Symptoms
We want to make sure you know that people experience a range of reactions following traumatic current events like the threat that the Government shutdown would result in Veteran Benefits not being paid, Newtown or the Boston
Bombing. PTSD is just one of the effects of trauma. If you are a Veteran having readjustment issues, you are not alone, and it's not necessarily your fault. Grow stronger with other Veterans. aw
Other problems that often occur with PTSD include sleep problems, TBI and other physical health conditions, suicidal intent, grief, and anger. Read more about Co-occurring Problems.Remember: Recovery is POSSIBLE. It is also a PROCESS. There will be setbacks.
These additional mental health problems can complicate treatment. For example: When a PTSD diagnosis co-occurs with depression and/or substance abuse problems, (including alcohol and smoking) Recovery will require dealing with both issues simultaneously.Remember: Recovery is POSSIBLE. It is also a PROCESS. There will be setbacks.
The PTSD 101 Online curriculum includes 8 courses on PTSD and Co-occurring Problems including specific info about how to address specific co-morbidities.
Acts of Violence, Terrorism, or War: Triggers for Veterans
Veterans, like other people, respond to traumatic events in a number of ways. They may feel concern, anger, fear, or helplessness. These are all typical responses to a violent, malicious, or traumatic event. However, research shows that people who have been through trauma, loss, or hardship in the past may be even more likely than others to be affected by new, potentially traumatic events.
Traumatic events can cause a range of reactions. In response to new traumatic events, Veterans may:
have general distress or see an increase in his or her PTSD symptoms
experience deeper depression
become quick to anger, sleep poorly, or drink more heavily
try to avoid all reminders or media about the incident, or shy away from social situations in general
Recent traumatic events may also trigger old memories among Veterans. When facing a new traumatic event some Veterans expect and/or prepare for the worst based on their past experiences. For example, Veterans may:
become overly protective, vigilant, and guarded
become preoccupied by danger
feel a need to avoid being shocked by, or unprepared for, what may happen in the future
If you have a VA caretaker (fiduciary) handling your VA benefits you are prohibited from purchasing, possessing, receiving, or transporting firearms or ammunition
(unless you have a special VA exemption from the law!)
Here is an excerpt from a VA formletter
The VA can determine that you are incompetent. It can assign a caretaker of it's choosing. And the VA can determine whether or not to grant you your 2nd Amendment rights. Your only defense is education on the issue. Get educated.
Study reveals top reason behind soldiers' suicides
When researchers asked 72 soldiers at Fort Carson, Colo., why they tried to kill themselves, out of the 33 reasons they had to choose from, all of the soldiers included one in particular — a desire to end intense emotional distress.
"This really is the first study that provides scientific data saying that the top reason ... these guys are trying to kill themselves is because they have this intense psychological suffering and pain," said Craig Bryan, co-author of the study by the National Center for Veterans Studies at the University of Utah that will be published in the coming months.
Suicide within the military has soared since 2005 as the military has waged two wars at once, and this year may set a record with troops committing suicide at the rate of one per day, according to Pentagon figures. Read the rest of the story here:
I recently had the excellent experience of interviewing Doctor David Rudd, of the National Center for Veterans Studies at the University of Utah. He was welcoming, funny, masterful, brilliant. His understanding of the issues that affect Veterans and their families is nuanced and particularly insightful. The work being done at the National Center should make Utahns proud. More importantly, this work can change Veterans lives! aw. He deserves to be heard. Read the rest of the story here:
Thanks to Dr Laurie Sakaeda from A Helping Hoof for this contribution.
Back From War, But Not Really Home
A blog by Dan Doyle
This was the title of an article by Caroline Alexander for the Sunday Opinion section of the New York Times. In it she compares the homecoming of Odysseus, Homer’s hero of the “Odyssey” who, for a number of reasons that are out of his control, takes 10 years to get home from the Trojan war. When he gets home he finds that everything has changed and he has to find ways to “get back home” to his family, and to the people of his island kingdom.
When he finally arrives on the shores of his native home he does not recognize it. It has been shrouded in a mist by the goddess Athena, making “everything look otherwise/than it was.” Odysseus groans, “Ah me, what are the people whose land I have come to this time?”
Like so many of our modern day veterans who come home to what should be the familiar, Odysseus finds himself feeling a sense of dislocation. Read more here:
So serious is the problem that veterans of our military services now represent 20 percent of all suicides in the United States despite the fact that only 1 percent of Americans have served in the military.
Many of these people will jump in front of a train, put a bullet in their head or take some other way out because the United States of America – that would be you and me – is flat out welching on the deal we make with the people we send off to fight our wars. They promise to put their bodies into these deadly, bloody battles and we, in return, promise to take care of their war related injuries—both physical and mental—when they return.
Let's put Veteran suicide in perspective. The Washington Post reports 6,648 soldiers have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. We know that at least 22 Veterans are committing suicide every day. In just 10 years (2002 - 2012) that's 3,650 days, times 22 equals 80,300 dead Veterans. Almost twice as many as died in Vietnam. America does not seem to care! aw
There can be no lasting Recovery without a foundation of communication.
Here are five fundamental skill of effectively sharing ideas and feelings with others.
Master these and abudant Joy will be yours.
Learn to listen,
Be specific and reasonable in your requests,
Use positive and corrective feedback,
Clarify what you mean as you give messages,
Learn to ask questions.
No one is perfect. We gradually progress to a time when conflict evaporates and love governs all our relationships. Eventually, if we apply ourselves diligently, Love illuminates all we say and do.
The whole family is often wounded after a family member is exposed to something really horrible; beyond imagining. Often the result is broken families and disposable relationships. This is a tragedy; multiplied by the fact that relationships can become repairable. All the family members can get well!
This goes way beyond learning to cope with the Veterans incurable mental illness! This is helping Veterans recover mental wellness and helping the whole family to do the same. I want families to know JOY. The VA has hard evidence that Veterans Can Recover Mental Wellness. They call it Cognitive Behavior Therapy. You don't need a PhD to teach the essence of CBT. You don't need a degree in psychology to teach someone a different way of breathing. There is an alternative to a lifetime of reliance on heavy medication and "coping skills." We are teaching how to do it the same way alcoholics teach other alcoholics to stay sober! Your whole family can learn about Recovery. Your whole family can Recover mental wellness. It just takes time and effort. And Desire!
More Good news for Veterans and Families Seeking Mental Wellness Recovery
Two great new web sites deliver excellent Recovery tools.
If you think you may be experiencing mental wellness issues with a family member or yourself it is now possible to link up with SERIOUS Recovery tools, anonymously, without stigma, with your family, for free.
The VA and the Military and many others have tried to aggregate resources like these for years; with spotty results. For two years, Rush University Medical Center has been working with Prevail Health Solutions under a series of National Science Foundation grants to lay the groundwork for the Vets Prevail program, a new way of bringing mental health support to US Military Veterans.
Now, with the generous support of Goldman Sachs Gives, the Robin Hood Foundation and PepsiCo, Rush has teamed up with Give an HourTM (GAH) for a national roll-out of Vets Prevail. This launch combines the Vets Prevail online program featuring dynamic, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)-based e-learning lessons and peer-to-peer support with free face-to-face counseling provided by GAHís network of over 6,000 mental health professionals.
From Google's Veteran
community to yours: This site was made by some Veterans, family of Veterans and friends who work at Google. We understand the challenges of serving, coming home and transitioning to civilian life. We've been there. Some of us are still figuring it out. Here are some free Google products we've gathered together that have made our lives easier. Hopefully, they can do the same for you.
This picture is a MRSA infection in someone's hip. Must be 18 inches across! Not pretty.
adapted from a VA press release
Every suicide in America is a tragedy. Everyone cares about each veteran and their physical and mental health. The VA has more than 10,000 mental health workers who took the job because they wanted to help veterans cope with the issues and crises they face.
The VA also operates a veteran suicide hotline which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to help any veteran in need. That number is 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
If you want to help someone who is thinking of harming themselves call 1-800-613-4012. Press zero to get the operator and tell them to want to speak to the VA suicide prevention coordinator.
Utah Vet and the VA strongly encourages vets who may be considering harming themselves in some way ~ reach out to somebody. Sometimes an hour with a fellow vet can be worth ten hours of therapy, and for sure is better than a night in the ER, or twenty four hours detoxing in a tank somewhere, or worst, a massive dose of "Enditall" (End-It-All.)
If you need a time out to get your feet back on the ground, or a safe place to come down; call the numbers. There is no shame in setting your sights on a better life. If you won't seek treatment from the VA, just look in your phone book for local mental health resources like Wasatch Mental Health 24 hour crisis line: 801-373-7393. People are there to help during a crisis. VA's care and treatment works and is available for veterans with PTSD, depression and other mental health problems.
There are a couple of new websites that are a goldmine for Veterans and families seeking information on recovery. www.VetsPrevail.org and www.googleforveterans.com. I'm especially pleased with the VetsPrevail site. It was put together without reference to the Department of Defense or Department of Veterans Affairs. Funding was provided by the National Science Foundation with research and implementation by the Rush University Medical School. It really works. I give this site the highest marks. aw
VA operates the largest mental health care system in the country, spending $3 billion each year on its mental health programs, and has taken several measures to increase its mental health services in recent years. Those include new programs bringing mental health into primary care, intensified rehabilitation for those with serious mental illnesses, and expanded programs for homeless veterans and those with substance abuse problems.