suicide

June Is PTSD Awareness Month

PTSD affects the whole family, and everyone is encouraged to raise awareness for our service members, their caregivers, and their dependents. The more we know, the better we can recognize it and make sure that proper care or treatment is provided.

To start, you can download Understanding PTSD and PTSD Treatment from the National Center for PTSD. It provides the basics of cause and symptoms and treatment. There’s also a handout of what to do if you think you have PTSD; from talking to someone you trust, to seeking help. If you prefer, there are self-help tools available to you where you can get coaching online, as well as, a PTSD Coach Mobile App downloadable on iTunes (iOS) and Google Play (Android).

AboutFace is a website full of stories and experiences with PTSD and its treatment – in video format. Listen from Veterans, family members, and clinicians talk about when they knew they needed help, or how it affected their loved ones, to how treatment helped them move forward with their lives.

The National Center for PTSD also has a playlist of videos.

Make the Connection has hundreds of unscripted video interviews, more than 600 Veterans and their family members tell their personal stories — including the issues they’ve faced, the support they’ve received, and the strides they’ve made in improving their own lives.

 

Share these with everyone and help us raise awareness:  Learn  Connect  Share

 

Call, chat online, or text to 838255

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Why Is the Suicide Rate Higher with Female Veterans?

I was sitting in at a discussion on military resources recently, when someone asked for the reason why the risk of suicide rate for female veterans is 250 percent higher than the civilian women.  The discussion continued, but my first thought was, I’m a female combat veteran why don’t you ask me?  I went through the transition process.  And right behind that was the thought in my head that said suck it up and drive on – you got nothing to complain about.

But here’s the thing.  When we leave the military, we all suffer the disconnect of not belonging, the feeling of isolation, and the inkling that people are not really seeing us for what we are.  We tend to keep to ourselves because the everyday conversations that go on around us raise our hackles; they seem so inconsequential compared to what we have gone through.  Women are born nurturers and when called to action with the necessity to keep emotions at bay, it makes returning to the civilian life disorienting.  The swing of two emotional extremes; the emotional dump or the lack of emotion creates a doubt on our confidence to react properly in the civilian world.  Adjustment takes time and sometimes, time is the enemy.

To get a more succinct explanation, read It’s Time to Address the Staggering Rate of Suicide Among Servicewomen and Female Vets by Kate Hendricks Thomas and Kyleanne Hunter.

We have to acknowledge that each of us has a different response to the things we have experienced during our service in the military.  Knowledge and understanding go a long way towards bridging the gap with our transition to our best life.

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