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June is National PTSD Awareness Month

HOUSTON, May 31, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- PTSD is the root cause of suicide and is "one of the deadliest wounds of war." Within an hour of you reading this, a veteran will have taken his life.  And while we have slept comfortably in our beds, worked an 8-hour shift, safely returned home, eaten dinner with our family, and back to bed again, 22 veterans have committed suicide.  Although the real number is higher: 22 is only the reported number as only 22 of 50 states report veteran suicide. In fact, while there are 58,195 names on the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., since shooting ceased there have been more than 210,000 veteran suicides. Estimates are that 90%-95% result from PTSD. Already there have been more suicides than casualties from fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

JUNE IS PTSD AWARENESS MONTH: Suicide is a pandemic among veterans over 55, and they hold the highest suicide rate, higher than those returning from active duty in Iraq, Afghanistan and any/all areas where the American Servicemen are called to serve and protect the freedoms we hold so dear and all too often we take for granted. 

Furthermore, to truly show how dismal the statistics are, we would also need to include PTSD suicides of our first responders. This includes police personnel of all kinds, firemen, and EMS service personnel.  Unfortunately, there are no data stats for those numbers, but they are estimated at 10%-20% higher than in the general population.

When we add First Responder suicides to the number of veteran suicides, the total number is higher than the data of 22 veteran PTSD-related suicides per day. One suicide is too many, and it is heartbreaking to realize that 70 to 100 of our bravest public servants take that final desperate step every day.

The Family

For every veteran or first responder who suffers from PTSD, a minimum of five family members are affected.  In fact, if PTSD goes untreated, those close to the veteran or first responder will more than likely be diagnosed with secondary PTSD.  Although secondary PTSD is not caused by trauma, it is caused by being a caregiver for someone who suffers from PTSD, due to the enormous responsibilities, and the helplessness a caregiver feels because this is someone they dearly love.

Birdwell Foundation Leaders

"We are here to stop the pandemic rate of our soldiers' and first responders' suicides and we need your help," said Gene Birdwell, Founder of the Birdwell Foundation for PTSD. "No one heals alone, and we are asking you to join our effort to stop the PTSD tragedy by calling us today, if you or someone you know suffers with PTSD."

"As a Vietnam Veteran, (U.S. Navy), I have been given a new combat mission in life.  The Birdwell Foundation has afforded me a most honorable and distinguished opportunity to service veterans (Korean War through GWOT) with PTSD issues and other needs.  I accept this mission with the same drive, dedication, and integrity as I did as a Tank Company Commander, 2nd ID, South Korea and as a Battalion Operations Officer, 1st Cavalry Division, Ft. Hood, Texas.  The Cartersville, Georgia, PTSD Group effort, is in fact, having a profound and most positive effect on veterans and family Members," said Gary S. Conley, Major, Armor United States Army (retired). 

"Several years ago, after contemplating suicide and being led out of the darkness of PTSD personally by the Birdwell Foundation, my entire life is dedicated to the Birdwell Foundation mission of eradicating PTSD related suicide," said Roger Marshall Jr., Combat Veteran and National Director of Operations/Outreach, Birdwell Foundation.

Get Involved:

  1. Call/write your Congressman and Senators
  2. Know how to identify common signs for PTSD – visit https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml
  3. If you know someone that needs help, have them contact our hotline number: 800-800-8000
  4. Waiting 10 minutes to get involved may be the 10 minutes your loved one could not hold on any longer
  5. Always remember anyone can suffer from PTSD. "It is a normal reaction to an abnormal traumatic experience in life"
  6. No one will have to pay for the treatment – the Birdwell Foundation for PTSD covers the costs for Vets and First Responders
  7. Every week we are certifying volunteers to open PTSD outreach groups for veterans, First Responders, and their Family Members in communities throughout the United States
  8. Help us with funding for an Interim Housing facility, donate today to help save the lives of our country's heroes, click here: https://www.birdwellfoundation.org/donate
  9. Sponsor a fundraising event

Gene Birdwell, a private Houston businessman, is the founder of the Birdwell Foundation for PTSD. For many years Birdwell has personally and privately funded the one-on-one mentoring group, share sessions and has provided financial assistance to thousands of veterans.

The Birdwell Foundation for PTSD has saved thousands of lives over many years with one-on-one mentoring and group share sessions.  For more information, go to www.birdwellfoundation.org.

Media Contact:
Tom Clutts
Executive Director
Phone:  210-486-1639
Email:  tom.clutts@birdwellfoundation.org

 

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SOURCE Birdwell Foundation