Suicide and addiction rates are critically high in military and veteran populations. To help address this problem, PsychArmor Institute will hold a day of action, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., April 7. This convening brings together thought leaders from government, academia and the private sector at the University of San Diego’s School of Leadership and Education Science to discuss solutions to this growing trend. This free event is limited to 200 individuals.
Former Department of Veteran Affairs Secretary, Robert McDonald and former member of the House of Representatives and current mental health advocate, Patrick Kennedy will be honored for their years of service, April 6 at the San Diego Air and Space Museum during the Second Annual PsychArmor Institute (PAI) Gala.
I want to be clear: you don’t have to be a veteran in order to effectively serve veterans. However, as a service provider who claims to serve the military connected population, it is crucial to have an understanding of military culture and have the knowledge to effectively build rapport and trust with a veteran or family member who has sought your support and expertise
When 1st Lt. Travis Manion was killed in Iraq his mother started a foundation in his name that is now in its sixth year and has helped over 18,000 veterans.
Veterans Day has passed and the parades are over until next year. But for many the commitment to honoring veterans is a full time job with most of the hard work occurring after the spotlights fade.
We have seen the tragic headlines reporting how 12 innocent Americans were killed, and several others injured during a hideous mass shooting at a Navy Yard in D.C. Although this terrible event has received a lot of media attention, it's sad to say that it has paled in comparison to the social media "hits" Miley Cyrus' got for her half-naked twerking performance at the VMAs.
According to the U.S. military, there are 19,000 rapes and sexual assaults each year in the armed forces—most of them unreported—with hardly any cases ending in convictions or even in prosecution. According to the Department of Defense’s own data, 85 percent of victims do not report the crime, mostly out of fear that no one will believe them, or that they’ll suffer retaliation (as many victims say they endure after they report assaults.) As Protect Our Defenders, a human-rights organization dedicated to survivors of military sexual assault, has stated, most cases aren’t prosecuted because of fear of retaliation, and only 2,500 victims reported attacks in 2011...
Working with the military as a proactive mental health care provider gives me the opportunity to better understand our active duty service members and veterans. I have witnessed their dedication to duty, their strong moral standards and rich culture. Unfortunately, over the years that our country has moved to an all-volunteer force, our civilian population has had less opportunity to understand and interact with the military, and the divide between service members and civilians is increasing.
There has been a spate of football suicides lately, tracing the increase in self-killings now occurring in the U.S. military. Is there a link? To be sure, both war with its IEDs and football with its tackles can bruise a brain. The fact that both sets of bruised brains now are being examined to see if trauma plays a similar role in incubating suicidal impulses can only help, both on the battlefield and the gridiron.
“There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines,” said U.S. Army Gen. William Thornson: “Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion.” Working with the Corps to try and help stem its suicide crisis, I have come to learn that there is some truth to that claim—but if we can’t bridge that gap, things aren’t going to change...
68 percent of Americans think the war in Afghanistan is going somewhat or very badly, and the same percentage thinks we should withdraw entirely or start drawing down troops now. Compound that with less than 1 percent of Americans serving in the active-duty military, so much of the nation feels no real stake in or connection to the war effort. That disconnect and distance helps explain how, at this time of collapsing support for the government, the press, and other institutions, three of four Americans say they’ve maintained their confidence in the military....