Showing posts with label suicide prevention. Show all posts
Showing posts with label suicide prevention. Show all posts

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Isn't it time for you to write a happier ending for your own story?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
December 15, 2022

When you are the protagonist in your own story, understand the ending is up to you. How do you want to write the next chapter of your own story? Can you rewrite your character? No, because your character is "you" but you can become the champion in your own story and write the next chapter your way.

Merriam-Webster defines the protagonist as this.
: the principal character in a literary work (such as a drama or story)

: the leading actor or principal character in a television show, movie, book, etc.

: an active participant in an event

: a leader, proponent, or supporter of a cause: CHAMPION
Struggle, or conflict is central to drama. The protagonist or hero of a play, novel, or film is involved in a struggle of some kind, either against someone or something else or even against his or her own emotions. So the hero is the "first struggler", which is the literal meaning of the Greek word prōtagōnistēs. A character who opposes the hero is the antagonist, from a Greek verb that means literally "to struggle against".

CNN had a touching video tribute to Boss and within it were the thoughts we should all keep in our own minds.
“It’s heartbreaking to hear that someone who brought so much joy to a room, was hurting so much behind closed doors,” Justin Timberlake wrote in a tribute on Instagram. “I’ve known [Boss] for over 20 years through the dance community - he always lit everything and everyone up. You just never know what someone is going through.”
You don't know what someone is going through unless they tell you. You may guess something is wrong but not understand what's wrong. All too often human nature causes us to internalize it. We wonder what we did wrong. When they choose to leave us, instead of talking to us, again, we blame ourselves. The what "ifs" flood our brains and we drown in unanswerable questions only the one we knew could answer.

If you are the one going through dark times, keep that in mind because the chances are, the people in your life have no idea what you are going through unless you tell them. Maybe you don't want them to worry about you? They already are. Maybe you don't want them to think less of you because you need help when you are the one they always turn to to help them? They won't but they may be wondering why it's ok with you to help them but not trust them to help you when you need it. Whatever is stopping you from turning to the people in your life, understand that is the point of having people in your life, and not just people you know the names of.

Trust them enough to take a chance and open up. If they don't understand what it is, then they will at least know you're hurting and need to work through it. Don't settle for just waiting to get over it but search for those that can help you.

I have a lot of people in my life but I could be in a crowd and feel totally alone at times. When I needed help the people I love could not give, I turned to a therapist I could open up to and she's helping me work through it. My family knows I need more help than they can give and they ok with that because they want me to be happier than I was struggling.

I am the protagonist in my own story and it is up to me to write the next chapter filled with doubts and confusion and struggles, just as each one will contain victories. Isn't it time to take a chance at happiness?

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Is Congress finally getting it right on suicide prevention?

Among the many things I had to get certification on, was Military Cultural Compentence. Working with veterans for all these years was a little easier for me, because I grew up with veterans. I was actually an Army brat! My Dad was a Korean War veteran and my uncles were WWII veterans. I understood the difference between veterans and civilans early on.

I also married a Vietnam veteran, spending most of my time surrounded by more of them.

All these years, veterans have been saying that sending them to a civilian therapist for help with PTSD was not working, Congress failed to listen. It looks like they are finally ready to, not just hear them, but act on it.
“Veterans’ Culturally Competent Care Act” which “will require that veterans receive culturally competent, evidence-based mental health treatment from private providers, as is already required of VA mental health providers.” 
Veterans belong with veterans. Police Officers belong with Police Officers and Firefighters belong with Firefighters. Why? Because there is a cultural difference. They already feel out of place when they have PTSD, so putting them in with civilians only adds to their level of feeling like an outcast. 

There is one more huge reason for this. The civilian world has a track record of not even being able to serve civilians! The rate of suicides in each group has grown despite all the years of "efforts" to reduce suicide and change the conversation from suffering to healing.

"Suicide rates increased 33% between 1999 and 2019, with a small decline in 2019. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.3 It was responsible for more than 47,500 deaths in 2019, which is about one death every 11 minutes.3 The number of people who think about or attempt suicide is even higher. In 2019, 12 million American adults seriously thought about suicide, 3.5 million planned a suicide attempt, and 1.4 million attempted suicide." CDC

The numbers of members of the military committing suicide have gone up as well over the years. 

The first Bill Congress passed to "reduce" suicides was back in 2007 and ever since then, they have been repeating the same things that failed. I just got hopeful reading about this effort this time and thinking IT'S ABOUT TIME~

Gus Bilirakis: Veterans’ Culturally Competent Care Act Will Help Reduce Veteran Suicides

Florida Daily
Kevin Derby
July 27, 2021

Last week, U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., a member of the U.S. House Veterans Affairs Committee, championed a proposal to “ensure veterans receive the highest quality care possible from private providers.”

Bilirakis is the main co-sponsor of U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester’s, D-Del., “Veterans’ Culturally Competent Care Act” which “will require that veterans receive culturally competent, evidence-based mental health treatment from private providers, as is already required of VA mental health providers.”

Backers of the proposal, which also include U.S. Rep. Mike Levin, D-Calif., insist the bill will help reduce the number of veterans committing suicide.

“As the suicide rate of our nation’s veterans continues to worsen, more must be done to provide them with quality mental health care. The need for quality care is most acute with private providers in two key areas: cultural competency and evidence-based treatment,” Bilirakis’ office noted.
read more here

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Will VA Suicide Prevention Continue to Fail to Prevent Them?

The VA’s suicide prevention strategy will fail

Military Times
By: Sean Gilfillan
September 17, 2019
Instead of relying on others, the VA’s strategy should be to replicate the peer, community and institutional support veterans had while they were in the military.
Hawaii-based service members from every branch of service, Department of Defense personnel, and military and DoD families form a human chain in the shape of a yellow suicide awareness ribbon on Sept. 5, 2018, in support of National Suicide Awareness Month at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. (Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Corwin Colbert/Navy)
The suicide rate for young adults was 17 per 100,000 population in 2017, while the suicide rate for veterans 18-39 is over 50 per 100,000.

The VA strategy says, “Suicide prevention is VA’s highest priority.” If that were true, the VA would not outsource the solution to local, community-based organizations. In the VA’s National Strategy for Preventing Veteran Suicide, there are four critical protective factors that help offset risk factors.

Two clinical solutions: 
1) Positive coping skills, and 
2) Access to mental health care; and two non-clinical solutions: 
3) Feeling connected to other people, and 
4) Having reasons for living or a sense of purpose in life. 

The VA’s strategy has a “lead from behind” approach for the latter two. We give the VA $220.2 billion per year to take care of our 20 million veterans. Yet, the VA wants to outsource outreach to veteran service organizations (VSOs), nonprofits, local businesses and governments to address the two non-clinical factors. While VSOs advocate on behalf of all veterans, they are not in touch with all veterans.

Given member overlap and passive membership, basic math dictates that the combined marketing reach of the entire VSO community is estimated to be 5-10 percent of the total.

Even so, this business-to-business (B2B) (organization to organization) approach is not the right strategy for an organization with individual customers.
read it here

Monday, September 2, 2019

Chairman Takano Congress is doing too much of the wrong things on suicide prevention

Congress is not doing enough to prevent suicides tied to military

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
September 2, 2019

Chairman Takano,
Your video is far from what is necessary to prevent suicides among citizens who served in the military and are currently serving. The rates prove that. They have gone up since the "suicide awareness" efforts began over a decade ago.

How much time do you think Congress should get before before the families show up in Washington or at your offices in your districts?

Suicide Prevention actually means they are being prevented...not simply passing bills that pretend to be any different from the ones that have already been written and funded by all other sessions of Congress before your Chairmanship.

What is not clear is why there has been so little effort in finding out what all of you have gotten wrong before it is all repeated.

What is not clear is why no one has been held accountable for any of it. Not the military when their suicide rates are at an all time high. Not the VA when more veterans are doing their own suicide awareness by committing suicide on VA property. No one, including members of Congress have ever apologized to the families left behind by for this complete total catastrophe.

There are people at the VA who do know what works and why it works, but Congress will not listen to them. There are people in the military who do know what works and why it works, but again, no one listens to them.

Why? Because what works does not cost as much as the drugs being given. It does not cost as much as paying for private mental healthcare providers who do not even begin to understand military culture. Oh, not that their track record was any better in the civilian community they used to serve, since according to the CDC civilian suicides have gone up every year too.

Stop doing too much of the wrong things and calling it suicide prevention, since results prove you wrong. Given the fact that we have had enough evidence of the rise, we also know about the calls to the Suicide Prevention Hotline going up, more calls to 911 and veterans facing off with police officers. It is futile to continue with all that is being redone now, to have results like these.

So please, stop what you are doing long enough to actually listen to different voices. Listen to those who have been out there doing the work that does actually prevent suicides, prevents families from falling apart, prevents veterans from becoming homeless and above all, from losing hope.
Veterans already know how to die. They need to be made aware of reasons to live!


Today, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) released the following Video Statement to mark the beginning of National Suicide Prevention Awareness month and reiterate his Call For A VA Wide Stand-Down to address the crisis of veteran suicide.
VA stand down
Full text of the Video Statement below:

I am Congressman Mark Takano, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

Today marks the beginning of National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month-- and with 20 veterans, servicemembers, reservists, and members of the National Guard dying by suicide a day, it’s clear we have a national public health crisis on our hands.

In April, following 3 suicides on VA property in 5 days, I directed this Committee to work in a bipartisan manner to address the national crisis of veteran suicide and made it this Committee’s top priority.

We acted immediately and since then have held hearings, and passed 5 bills to address this crisis.

And yet, with each suicide, it becomes more clear our country is not doing enough. We need new solutions. That’s why I’ve called on VA to institute an immediate nation-wide stand-down to address this crisis.

Over the next 15 days, I’m asking VA to:

(1) Ensure all VA staff are fully trained
(2) Assess facility infrastructure
(3) Identify gaps in policies, procedures, and resources
We cannot keep delaying action. Americans must know that key policies are already in place, that VA will enforce them, and trust that senior VA leadership will be held accountable.

Until VA has a top suicide prevention official in place to implement these programs, veterans can’t have confidence in VA’s ability to care for them in a crisis. While Americans should take this month to have real conversations about suicide across this country, I’m asking VA to do more than talk. I’m asking them to back up their policies with clear, concise actions.

If you or a veteran you know is in crisis, you can call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1(800) 273-8255 and press 1, or text 838-255.

We must do more to “be there” for our veterans in crisis.
Press Contact
Jenni Geurink (202-225-9756)

Miguel R. Salazar

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Now that VA suicide prevention office getting new leader...will they figure out wrong awareness being raised?

VA’s top suicide prevention official departing in July

Military Times
By: Leo Shane III
June 26, 2019
At least 24 suicides have occurred on VA campuses in the last 20 months, several in public areas. But department officials insist that the suicide rate at those clinics and hospitals has actually decreased in recent years, even as visibility of the problems has risen.

Dr. Keita Franklin, who has served as the National Director for Suicide Prevention at VA for the last 18 months, will step down from the job in July. (Zachary Hada/Air Force)

Veterans Affairs’ top suicide prevention official will leave that post next month as the congressional focus on the department’s efforts continues to increase.

Dr. Keita Franklin, who has served as the National Director for Suicide Prevention at VA for the last 18 months, will step down from the job in July. Officials said the move was not related to any issues with her office’s performance but instead based on other career opportunities outside of VA.

Dr. Matt Miller, the current director of the Veterans Crisis Line, will fill the post in an acting capacity until a permanent replacement is selected.

In a statement, department leaders praised Franklin for her work in the last few years, giving her credit for “key successes” in improving mental health care for veterans. Prior to joining VA, she served as the Defense Department’s top suicide prevention official.
Last fall, lawmakers blasted the department after the Government Accountability Office found that more than $6 million in suicide prevention and mental health support outreach funds went unspent by the department in fiscal 2018. Officials blamed that mistake on leadership changes at the department in prior months, including the firing of former VA Secretary David Shulkin.
read more here

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Sending text saved ex-Marine

Young ex-Marine gets within hours of planned suicide, social media helps save him

KATU News 
by Genevieve Reaume 
March 28th 2019

For Austin, the year following his planned attempt would be filled with both hardships and happiness. He says he was diagnosed with PTSD because of the trauma, as well as depression and anxiety. He ended up getting a tattoo of that near-fateful date on his forearm.
KELSO, Wash. — A young ex-Marine came within hours of taking his own life, but a last-minute plea on social media helped save him. 

Austin Kaster is 23 years old. It’s been just over a year since his suicide plan shattered and his life truly changed.
"I'm not going to forget it, but if by the weird chance that I do, I can just look down at my arm and be like, ‘OK, this is what I accomplished. This is what I overcame,’” Austin said, describing the tattoo, which also includes the barcode from the hospital band he got that night. “You’re taught, ‘Hey, just suck it up. Keep going.’ You know, head down, just push on through. But it got to a point where it was like, OK, it’s either this or I’m going to wind up taking my own life,” Austin said, describing the tough moments while serving at Camp Pendleton that led him to reach out for help. read more here

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Widow of Columbus Fire Department wants to start a conversation to save lives

Widow of Columbus firefighter remembers husband, talks need for mental health awareness

WBNS 10 News
Bryant Somerville
March 20, 2019

Eight years of dating and a five-month engagement led Katie-Jean and Shane Brintlinger to the middle of the dance floor for their first dance as a married couple.
Shane picked the song "More of You" by Chris Stapleton.

The day is frozen in time in pictures. They are moments Katie-Jean remembers every detail of.

They met at Otterbein University. Katie-Jean says, originally, Shane wanted to be a high school history teacher, but later changed his mind and opted for fire school. She says it was his passion.

"He would always tell me 'I thrive in those environments,'" she said. "He would say 'When I go in and people are freaking out, that's when I do my best. I can slow my mind down and think through what I need to do.'"
He worked in London, then Delaware. Then, the last five years, Brintlinger worked at the Columbus Fire Department.

"He truly loved it because he could just go after it," she said. "He loved that high speed, everything about it."

December 29, 2017, they were married. A year and two months later, Katie-Jean was at the grocery store.

"I called him to see if the asparagus was still good in our fridge," she said. "Well, he didn't answer."
A picture shows Katie-Jean on the back of a fire engine, talking to her husband one last time at the cemetery.
read more here

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Audit finds links to preventing suicides missing in Marine Corps

A Navy audit says the Marine Corps could do better at suicide prevention

Marine Corps Times
By: Shawn Snow
March 14, 2019

The Marine Corps wasn't adequately providing links on its websites to the Veterans Crisis Line, a Navy audit found. (Sgt. Priscilla Sneden/Marine Corps)
A Navy audit concluded in 2018 found that the Corps was not complying with guidance and instructions required by the secretary of the Navy that aids in suicide prevention. Specifically, the Marine Corps was not adequately providing links on its webpages to the Veterans Crisis Line.

The audit, obtained by Marine Corps Times via a Freedom of Information Act request, found that none of the 43 reviewed Marine Corps command websites included a link to the crisis line.

A previous 2012 audit found that 54 percent of the Marine websites it searched did not have a suicide crisis link or phone number, and recommendations from that report were still in an “open status” as of March 2018. The 2018 audit was published in June 2018.

Suicide prevention is a serious issue in the Corps as the force faces suicide levels at a 10-year high.

In 2018, 75 Marines ended their lives, the majority of those Marines were under the age of 25 and had no overseas deployment experience.

“When suicide crisis links and phone numbers are not prominently advertised on Marine Corps Web sites, there is a missed opportunity to facilitate and encourage Marines to seek assistance in a critical time of need,” the audit reads.
read more here

I was at an event last year, when a veteran Marine said that their suicide numbers were down. Knowing they were not, I asked where he heard that. He said from the DOD report. Since I track the reports available to the public, I knew he was wrong. I still find it very interesting that too many people will hear a rumor on social media, believe it is true, claim it was from the Department of Defense...and discover they do not even check that.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

GAO found VA under spent on suicide prevention

VA leaves nearly $5 million unused in 2018 campaign to battle suicide, watchdog finds
Published: December 17, 2018 

Starting in June 2012, the VA consistently aired suicide preventions PSAs every month, either on the television or radio. When GAO investigators looked into the issue in August 2018, the VA hadn’t aired a PSA in over a year.

WASHINGTON — A federal investigation found the money and effort expended by the Department of Veterans Affairs on suicide prevention outreach dropped significantly in 2017 and 2018, despite it being touted by the past two VA secretaries as their top clinical priority.
The Government Accountability Office reported Monday, Dec. 17, 2018, that the Department of Veterans Affairs spent only $1.5 million on suicide prevention programs. The department was alloted $6.2 million for such programs. GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE

Following a yearlong investigation, the Government Accountability Office reported Monday that the VA has cut back since 2016 on suicide prevention outreach. Of the $6.2 million budget obligated for suicide prevention outreach in fiscal year 2018, the agency had spent only $57,000, or less than 1 percent, by September. Agency officials told investigators they would end up spending a total $1.5 million by Oct. 1, the end of the fiscal year. The remainder, $4.7 million, went unused.

In 2017, the VA had a budget of $1.7 million for suicide prevention and other mental health outreach. The VA spent about $136,000, or less than 10 percent, on suicide prevention. Also in 2017, the VA had a “limited effort” for suicide prevention month in September because they didn't prepare, the GAO found.
read more here 

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Lawyers take on suicide prevention through veterans experiences

Lawyer uses military experience to destigmatize suicide and encourage camaraderie

Daily Campus
OCTOBER 30, 2018

A Dallas lawyer explored suicide prevention through the lens of a veteran and its importance in the law field in his lecture “Battling Suicides and Depression: How Lawyers Can Help Each Other.”
Twenty-nine students attended the lecture and heard how Brian Farlow’s 27 years of active and reserve military service was connected to his mental health as a lawyer.

“We are the most educated profession, with the possible exception of doctors, and yet we are struggling to maintain a decent mental health,” Farlow said. “We are struggling with suicides.”

According to a 2012 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the lawyer occupation had the 11th highest suicide rate with 19 suicides per 100,000 professionals.

President of the Student Bar Association Brooke Adams, the SBA Mental Health Awareness Committee and Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Stephen Yeager planned this event as part of Dedman Law Wellness Week which coincided with National Law Student Mental Health Day.

“As a law student, it is hard, and Brian Farlow talked about the pressure you are in,” Adams said. “Here you learn it is okay to take a knee. It is okay to not be the best.”

Farlow played a video called “Shoulder to Shoulder,” which told the story of a soldier who attempted suicide. A fellow soldier prevented the suicide when he noticed that after a divorce his friend was not playing his guitar very much or talking to many people. This soldier saved his friend’s life by noticing the red flags and by removing the firing pin from his gun.
read more here

Monday, October 22, 2018

Wisconsin has a Hope Line to prevent suicides

'There's nobody to lie to': Vet shares success story of texting suicide prevention hotline

Channel 3000 WISC TV
By: Jamie Perez
Posted: Oct 18, 2018

KAUKANA, Wis. - The Center for Suicide Awareness in Kaukana is celebrating four years of saving lives. On Oct. 10,the center celebrated its anniversary. While the center itself is helping decrease the number of suicides across the state of Wisconsin, one method is providing a unique way for that to happen.
"You text the word Hopeline to 741741 and then send," said Barb Bigalke, founder of the center. "It doesn't cost anything, it doesn't take away from your minute plan, so it really is a free service."
Crum is a Marine Corps veteran who struggled with negative thoughts after his service. Crum said he had a tough time with relationships, jobs and other mental and emotional factors in his life. He said he needed a complete stranger to talk to in order to finally be honest with himself. He texted the Hopeline.

"You don't have to lie to anybody," Crum said. "I think sometimes we tend to lie to ourselves. There's nobody to lie to. There's nobody to give a false sense of everything is OK. So in that moment I was like, 'OK I need to be truthful with myself.' Through texting, all of that stigma and and those barriers are kind of taken away."

Crum said you don't have to be actively suicidal to use the Hopeline. He said you could just be having a bad day, in a state of depression or a myriad of other reasons. He said the Hopeline is for anyone to use to actively prevent anything bad from happening in the future.

"Whether you're 10 years old or 60 years old or a veteran or LGBTQ, we've got a myriad of different ages, races, populations to text it and say, 'I need help.'"

Crum said it helped him get through one of the most difficult times of his life. It worked so well for him, he found his own purpose out of it. Crum now works at the Center for Suicide Awareness helping save others' lives.
read more here

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Why are we seeing higher number of suicides and lower numbers in the veteran population?

According to the news reports, the number of veterans committing suicide has gone why are we seeing this in the report itself? The following came from National Suicide Data Report Appendix.
Why are we seeing higher number of suicides and lower numbers in the veteran population?

Why are we seeing higher rates than we did in 2005, and year afterwards? It is millions less veterans and hundreds more suicides.

This requires action from all of us!

Find out what you can do to save their lives and actually prevent suicides because frankly, we had better results before everyone was reminding them that far too many took their own lives instead of helping them to #TakeBackYourLife and heal. Look at the years, and all the numbers to better understand that when the say "down slightly" it depends on what else went down with it.

Go to this publication from the VA and find out how to help them help veterans. The VA is not the enemy and we need to stop treating it like it was. If they are failing at something, help them fix it. If they are succeeding at something, help them expand it!

Remember, veterans are not civilians and the VA being there for them was part of the why didn't we commit to them too?

Reaching all Veterans to prevent suicide will take the entire community.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is on a mission to end suicide among Veterans in communities across America. Approximately 14 of the 20 Veterans who die by suicide each day are not receiving care from the Veterans Health Administration. We need your help to reach them. We invite you to share your insights, experiences, and resources to shape public health initiatives that support Veterans at risk. One Veteran suicide is one too many. It’s time to act — Are you with us? VA works with hundreds of organizations and corporations at the national and local levels, including Veterans Service Organizations, to raise awareness about its suicide prevention programs. These partners have regular contact with Veterans as well as active duty Servicemembers, Reservists, National Guard members, and their families. By reaching out to help, communities can send the message that they value these individuals and their service.

Organized events are a great way for our partners to advance this critical national goal of ending Veteran suicide. By promoting Veteran-focused resources in your community at events such as job fairs and wellness expos, you can help us reach all Veterans. Connecting with fellow Veterans to spread the word about valuable mental health and suicide prevention resources makes Veteran wellness a community priority.

Veterans, family members, and care providers can initiate a free and confidential conversation with an experienced and caring VA responder by calling the Veterans Crisis Line. 
If you are concerned about the safety and well-being of a Veteran, call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1. 
Chat online at to get support anonymously. 
A text message can also be sent to 838255 to connect to a VA responder. 
These resources can be used even if a Veteran is not registered with VA or enrolled in VA health care.

Veteran suicide is preventable, and suicide prevention is everyone’s business. Thank you for helping to prevent and end Veteran suicide. Visit for more information.
Recent news reports
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the suicide rate for veterans in Oregon in 2015, the most recent year data is available, was 37.2 percent, which was more than double the national average among non-veterans.

That year alone, 118 Oregon veterans committed suicide.

“It really kind of haunts you,” Julie Terry said, whose brother, Will Naugle, committed suicide in 2017. “There’s a lot of ‘what could I have done?’ or ‘Is there something that could have changed it?’”
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – (CLARKSVILLENOW) – The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has released a data sheet from 2016 that details the suicide rate of veterans in Tennessee, compared to the veteran suicide rates in the southern region and the nation; as well as the general suicide rates in Tennessee, the southern region, and the nation.
18-34: 26
35-54: 38
55-74: 66
75+: 26

East Orlando Harley Davidson for Ride to Fight Suicide

A ride for life
PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
September 30, 2018

Today my husband and I are celebrating our 34th anniversary. No matter how hard some years were, we had love and fed each other hope. He is the reason I have done this work for the last 36 years. I have seen the darkness but have also seen what brighter days bring.

Yesterday I went out to East Orlando Harley Davidson for Ride to Fight Suicide

All of our lives have been changed in someway by the lose of hope, but none of us are ready to give up this fight for life.

While our lives may be different, the purpose of our lives has become one of restoring hope.
Romans 8:28 King James Version (KJV)
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Suicide is a painful thing for the families left behind. They never find the answers they are looking for. It is always with them, when the person they loved gave up on themselves. Beyond that, they gave up on the people who loved them as well.

The never ending questions of "why didn't they come to me" or "talk to me" or "let me know how much they were hurting" or "why didn't they trust me to listen to them?"

I know those feelings all too well, because it happened in my family. My husband's nephew was also a Vietnam veteran and he committed suicide 18 years ago. I have all those questions still in my head that will never be answered.
read more here

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Worse stunt ever on veteran suicides!

There are so many things wrong with this, it is hard to know where to begin other than this picture!
Yes, this is the stunt they pulled because veterans committing suicide is such an important thing to them...they did not even bother to read the report from the VA in the first place, or the second report, or the third one! 

This is a quote from the "event coordinators"
"They don't have the right outlet to come back. They need to go to their local VFW and talk to these people that were in World War 2 and tell them what they saw, because those guys want to know the generation gap and what they saw in World War 2 and what they are seeing now in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Kinzer-Henry.
So lets not talk about how that generation, along with ever other generation of veterans OVER THE AGE OF 50 ARE IN FACT THE MAJORITY OF THE KNOWN SUICIDES! 

Why talk about the fact that had it not been for Vietnam veterans, there would have been nothing available for any of the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans they claim to be doing this for...? (and yes, insert the words you know I have in my head right now)

OMG! But hey, this is doing the groups like this a lot of good getting attention and raising a lot of money.

Did it ever dawn on any of these people that veterans already know they are dying by their own hands but do not know how to stay alive?

"22 Won't Do" event raising awareness for suicide among veterans
Rocket City Now
By: Kelly Kennedy
Posted: Sep 22, 2018

September is suicide prevention month, and the U.S. Space & Rocket Center hosted an event today to raise awareness for veteran suicide.

"22 Won't Do" is an event that is shedding light on the issue of suicide among veterans.

Lyn Rothe, an event participant, said, "there are people that go through something that maybe we don't understand, but we need to be aware that there are people that need additional help and additional support."

Studies show that on average, 22 veterans a day commit suicide. The community came out today to do 22 push ups in support of veterans.

Jordon Fleming said he wanted to raise awareness "for my young marines, for my country, for my flag, so I didn't wanna just stop and bail out with everybody else."
read more here

Sunday, September 9, 2018

“It’s okay to not be okay…”

I'm Listening
EXCLUSIVE: Michael Phelps’ Full #ImListening Interview
“It’s okay to not be okay…”

The world’s most decorated Olympian, Michael Phelps, opens up about his vulnerability, swimming as an escape, and how therapy changed his life - in this exclusive interview:
“While I had a lot of success in the swimming pool, I also struggled with anxiety and depression so I understand how difficult it can be for people to address mental health challenges,” says Phelps. “In sharing my own journey, I would like to help people understand that it’s okay to not be okay, and that asking for help isn’t a sign a weakness but rather a sign of strength and courage.”

Phelps recently announced a partnership with Talkspace, which helps connect anyone with therapists through a computer, tablet or smartphone. “I was scared to go in somewhere and be judged,” says Michael. Talkspace helps break the barriers – especially for those who are reluctant to seek-out help in person, or may not have the financial means. “Every day is not going to be perfect,” he explains, “but it gives me tools to help work through things.”

“Saving a life is much more important to me than winning a gold medal,” Michael concludes. “You are not alone.”

For more positive strokes, check out the Michael Phelps Foundation:
read more here

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Break the sound of silence before it is too late

Reach Out in the Darkness and Keep a Friend
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
September 1, 2018
Preventing suicide begins when you reach out to those who have lost hope. Not by reducing them down to a number because you think it is easy to remember. They do not need to be made more aware of others who lost their battle.

When people tell me they are spreading "awareness" with a number, that is simply not correct, it is repulsive! This lazy attitude has replaced their commitment to the cause they claim be devoted to. It is not that they do not care. They did not care enough to become aware of facts first.
No one fights alone and the battle for their lives requires us to be aware of truth, not what is sold as a true effort to change lives before they are lost.

Men and women, dedicated to saving lives of others, should never be more fearful of asking for help. They already know how to die, but they do not know how to heal.

If we really honor and remember their sacrifice for the sake of others, then we need to make sure to do the work to help them heal and save their lives for a change. PTSD is something that can be defeated but it requires knowledge first and action afterwards. Not the other way around.

"Reach Out In The Darkness" and you may keep a friend!

Tried to boost this on Facebook but they disapproved of it.

Gee you see the post and it is not political. When will Facebook get this censorship right?

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Understanding conversation on suicides

Key to preventing suicide is an understanding conversation, experts say
Alexa Reye
Jun 8, 2018
Forty-nine states have seen an increase in the number of suicides from 1999 through 2016, according to a government report. Nebraska seeing an over 16 percent increase.

Editor's note: If you're feeling suicidal or having suicidal thoughts, help is available. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

OMAHA, Nebraska — The numbers are staggering: A new study from the Centers for Disease Control, shows the number of people taking their own life, is up 16 percent in Nebraska, 36 percent in Iowa and even higher in other states.

The data come during a week where two high-profile suicides are making headlines. But experts say you can help turn the tide — if you know what to look for.

Experts say the key to preventing suicide all starts with a conversation. One that expresses support and can happen anytime, anywhere. Because listening is the key to prevention.
read more here
Some will admit they are thinking about it but is the listener prepared for the answer? 

With all the awareness on suicide, isn't it about time all of us became aware that it has not help?

That conversation itself needs to change. Some will never say they are thinking of anything at all. When I wanted to die, no one knew. If anyone asked, I would have denied it. When my husband's nephew decided to die, no one knew how bad it was for him. He would have gotten angry and did it anyway. I needed something worth living for and so does everyone else.

With veterans, we have so many things in place to help them save their own lives, but they have not heard about them simply because social media, being what it is, shares the easy stuff and not what they need to know.