While we use this day to remember our fallen heroes who have died in battle, we should also take the time remember the vets who have died by suicide. According to the Reuters online website, veterans die by suicide—22 deaths a day or one every 65 minutes on average. This is usually committed by those who are 50 years and older, with numbers of 69% or higher. That doesn’t include, for example, the data from 2012— where there were 349 on-duty suicides.
When our soldiers come home, it won’t always be visible scars…but at times emotional ones. These invisible scars can come in the form of warning signs. According to Maketheconnection.net, these signs can include:
- Feeling hopeless, trapped or feeling there’s no way out
- Having persisting or worsening troubling sleep
- Withdrawing from family and friends
- Engaging in risky behavior without thinking of the consequences
- Feeling like there’s no reason to live
In addition to those examples, there maybe more signs that require immediate attention. These may include:
- Giving away prized possessions
- Frequently talking, writing, or drawing about death or about items that can cause physical harm
- Behaving violently such as punching holes in walls, getting into fights or engaging in self-harm acts
- Putting their affairs in order, tying up loose ends, and/or making a will
In Riverside, CA today, members of the organization, Veteran Suicide Awareness Project, had their 3rd annual Memorial Day Ruck March. In this event, they can walk as nearly 40 miles, while carrying 22 pounds of rucksack to signify the 22 veterans who commit suicide everyday. One woman, the event organizer and an Air Force Veteran herself, Evita De La Cruz, carried 22 pounds of her husband’s belongings—such as his boots and helmet from Iraq—who died by suicide in 2013 after serving in the military. The proceeds will go to families who had a vet that die by suicide. I hope their event went well to shed light on suicide and our vets.
If you are a vet or you know a vet who may need help, contact the link below:
The Veterans Crisis Line is 800-273-8255, then press 1. Help via text is available at 838-255 and veterans can chat at www.veteranscrisisline.net.
Readings:Riverside Ruck March Shines Light On Veteran Suicide
Okay, so I went to see my therapist today (it’s a new additional one, but I’ll explain later) and I told her about migraine and she DID say it was attributed stress. Well…she said it was a stress headache, but I know it’s not because a headache has never made me sensitive to light (it’s making hard for me to do my homework and readings on my laptop), make me dizzy, move one side of my head to another and sometimes linger around my eye area. Even to the part I have sinus pressure, when flu season is already over…at least for me. But man…it’s last me nearly 3 weeks, even with migraine medicine. I had to stop my rideshare job this afternoon, because of the bright lights and dizziness. So there goes my money making hours….
Okay so how do YOU know what a migraine is? Well found some handy info graphs that will hope you understand and recognize better if you haven’t already.
This is why we as African Americans should not keep our pain, frustrations…our mental wellbeing to ourselves
Being that’s it’s Minority Mental Health Month, it’s time to face the facts…like literally. If you’re like me, minorities such as me and my family don’t have a good perception on mental health. Mental illness means you’re weak, crazy…. Then even if you’re able to look past your culture’s view of mental illness—like myself—you face other barriers such as insurance coverage or cultural barriers. This is why we as minorities should pursue and better our mental health, especially those of us who are currently facing mental illness disorders. Hospitals and clinics will not know how to help us if we don’t say and we can’t look to our respective cultures to accept our conditions. And remember… this issue is foreign to them, so don’t be too angry at them. Who you tell or don’t tell your mental illness to is your business, but pursing your mental health needs are. That’s what’s gonna make you strong not weak. Ownership in your weakness makes you stronger not weaker.