Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Suicide Prevention: Supporting Our Troops

By JB Moore, NAMI Military and Veterans Policy and Support Manager

September is Suicide Prevention Month—a time to raise public awareness that suicide is a serious and preventable public health concern.

As commercial news beats the war drum, its a good time to reach out to veterans, active duty service members, National Guard members, reservists and military-connected family members impacted by the invisible wounds of war and encourage them to trust that there are constructive ways to resolve whatever challenges they face. The American people owe so much to these individuals.

Now is the time to play a role in preventing suicide—to reach out in a timely manner to someone at risk, especially current and former service members, and encourage them to seek help. It is a myth that seeking help is a sign of weakness. The truth is seeking mental health treatment is a choice that embodies moral courage and integrity. It is a sign of strength and effective treatment is available.

So, what can you do?

  1. Know the suicide warning signs.
  2. Know who is at risk for suicide, how suicide can be prevented and what friends and family members can do to help.
  3. Know where to turn during a suicide-related crisis:

Todd Rich, a member of NAMI Mississippi and NAMI Veterans and Military Council Representative learned from personal experience with a veteran peer that was considering suicide that camaraderie with another veteran can help prevent suicide. Rich recommends being assertive with the individual at risk: “Talk to the individual with some authority. Find common ground. Tell the person: What you’re doing is wrong and you know it. Let him or her know that there is another way out. Don’t sugar coat it!”

Despite some improvement over the years, society still adheres to many negative stereotypes towards individuals living with mental illness. Such stereotypes lead to discrimination against those who need help most. As we recognize Suicide Prevention Month, let us imagine a near future when persons affected by mental illness, including current and former service members and their families, receive the same full range of integrated diagnosis, treatment services, and supports across a continuum of care available to all people with serious mental illness. We must inspire hope and work together to stem the tide of suicide among veterans and military families.

Veteran’s Stories

A Veteran’s Journey with Schizoaffective Disorder

My Journey Back Home: PTSD

 

2 comments:

Kolt4JC said...

Argueably veteran's recovery are the single most important cause in every country!

Nothing has been mlore disturbing to me, than watching my elders suffer the Post Traumatic Stresses of having been in combat for teir lives.

Never mind their willingness to do it for their country and family; we've never really been honest about what they've courageously reported to us, in terms of the faces and bodies that continue to flash through their lives back in the states.

Something cleansing needs to be brought up from inside of these peace seeking warriors.

Awareness of them is not the issue, but ignoring them with talk of bringing awareness to their cause, is bringing them the closure needed by victims of traumatic experiences.

Something concrete and provocatively gripping must be offer them, for their personal consideration, to their hearts and minds, where peace can grow.

"Something Miraculous..."

~ The Master's SMILE Ministries

Samuel Hargrove said...

Great post "JB" & thank you Todd for being there...! The peer support, buddy program o whatever name it's called works and works consistently!

Thank you for such an inspiring post/article!

Samuel Hargrove, 2nd Vice Chair
NAMI Veterans & Military Council