Thursday, May 7, 2020

Call to action for veteran experts on PTSD

Where are all the experts I learned from and taught?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
May 7, 2020

Most of the experts I learned from have retired. Most of the people I taught over the years have gotten out of this work because it is so damn hard to do. Right now you need to remember why you got into this work in the first place.

For readers who do not know much about me, I used to be famous. I was know as Nam Guardian Angel going back to the early 90's online. That is what happens when people see what is happening before most people do. My work was sought out by military brass, psychologist, psychiatrists, mental health workers and educators. It astonished me how far the reach went, considering it was all word of mouth and intended to help veterans understand what PTSD so they would also know they could heal.

I am married to a Vietnam veteran with PTSD and survived traumatic events that could have killed me 10 times. I know what a flashback is, experienced nightmares, mood swings, anger, paranoia, depression, the list goes on. The biggest thing I want readers to get right now, is I also know what is on the flip side of the doom and gloom.

I wrote about living with PTSD back in 2002 in my first book, yet no matter how much I wrote, by then, the younger generation wasn't getting the message. In 2006, I started making videos. By 2008, I was Certified as a Chaplain with the IFOC and won an award for PTSD I Grieve. It was intended for members of the National Guard, but the IFOC was using it to help police officers and firefighters.

In 2007, I started this site and it has been read all over the world.

Why am I telling you all this? So that you take what I am saying seriously.

The parade passed me by many years ago, but considering it started in was a long time coming, I have been just doing my work and stopped competing with the influx of people getting into this for the wrong reasons and getting in the way. They left no room for me and I had no tolerance for them.

Lately I have been feeling really down about what has been going on with COVID-19 and our lives turned upside down. I have been searching for signs of hope that the power of trauma had not increased because educators mobilized to do crisis intervention. That search ended this morning when I read an article by an ER Doctor.
"The unfortunate truth is that the United States has never adequately provided treatment for mental and emotional health challenges, such as PTSD, for brave citizens who put their country before themselves. As we begin to imagine a post-Covid-19 America, we must do better by all of our veterans, including the hundreds of thousands of health care workers who have borne the trauma of this pandemic. That starts by destigmatizing mental health issues and making it easier for physicians, nurses and others to seek out the resources they need." 
Tsion Firew
Why am I still reading things like this? What hasn't the mental health community learned from the lessons people like me have been sharing for decades? Is it because they stopped looking or they stopped thinking?

I am wondering where the hell all the experts are? Where are you hiding? Did the parade push you out of the way too? Time to stop resting and get back into action because too many people need your expertise right now.

I don't do it for money and safe bet, you didn't either. It is a safer bet that you are grieving as much as I am for all the suffering going on right now.

You may believe that you will not be able to reach enough to make a difference. Is one enough for you? Do you remember what it felt like to change a life for the better? To be able to send them away knowing they will be happier ever after because of what you did for their sake?
"Whoever changes one life, changes the whole world.”

Read what the Doctor wrote and know that you have the power to make the difference right now before it is too late to wish you had done something when you had the chance!

Emergency doctor: We need help before it's too late

KITV 4 News
Opinion by Tsion Firew
Wednesday, May 6th 2020

Opinion by Tsion Firew Last weekend, I was on CNN discussing the importance of supporting the mental and emotional health of medical professionals. I likened this pandemic to an invisible bomb going off in our emergency...

Last weekend, I was on CNN discussing the importance of supporting the mental and emotional health of medical professionals. I likened this pandemic to an invisible bomb going off in our emergency departments.

Twenty-four hours later, I learned about the death of my colleague, Dr. Lorna Breen. A day later, I learned from media reports that she had died by suicide. It was a one-two punch, like she died twice.

Lorna had survived Covid-19 earlier this month. As her physical symptoms got better, the mental toll of the pandemic continued to get worse. And as I mourned, I reflected.

The world is hailing medical professionals as heroes, and don't get me wrong: The public praise has been a welcome shift. Our jobs were harrowing long before this crisis and will remain so long after we return to some semblance of normalcy. I am grateful for the acknowledgment.
Heed our call. The front line of this pandemic needs mental health resources and emotional support to process the destruction we cannot prevent, we cannot fix. The next wave is coming. We need help before it's too late for more of us.
read it here

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