Help Raise PTSD Awareness
PTSD is the root cause and is “the deadliest wound of war.” 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 to 95 percent result from PTSD. Already there have been more suicides than casualties from fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Suicide is pandemic among Vets 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 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 records kept for those numbers, but they are estimated at 10%-20% higher than in the general public.
Twenty-two (22) Vets committed suicide yesterday and twenty-two the day before. Twenty-two more will take their own lives today and another twenty-two tomorrow and it will continue every day until something is done about it. Only you can do that something.
Next take a look at some numbers from 2016. Since only 22 out of 50 states report veteran suicide statistics, if we were to be realistic in looking at the 22 Veteran suicides per day, we can surmise that the true average could easily be closer to 50 suicides per day. Then we add First Responder suicides and the total number could actually be closer to 70-100 PTSD-related suicides per day out of the total 123 suicides per day reported for 2016. One suicide is too many and it is heartbreaking to realize that 70 to 100 of our finest take that final desperate step every day. We are asking you to help us help them.
According to 2016 figures from the Veterans Administration, Arizona suicide rates are much higher, with an overall rate of 23.4 suicides per 100,000 and a vet’s rate of 44.1. The Arizona Violent Death Reporting System reported an even higher suicide rate of 54.8 per 100,000 in 2016 with rates ranging from 90.9 in Mohave County and 39.1 in La Paz County.
“We are here to stop the pandemic rate of our soldiers’ and first responders’ suicides and we need your help,” said Gene Birdwell, found 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.”
“I’ve recently lost a Veteran brother to alcoholism as a result of his military PTSD.” said Pat Bondurant, National Board Member of the Birdwell Foundation for PTSD. “I am committed to helping the Foundation’s extraordinary programs take root and thrive nationally. Arizona is home to more Veterans than any other state, where we know the suicide rate here is the sixth highest in the nation, this firestorm has to stop and everyone has to get involved, right now.”
“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. “We also offer support to family members who’s loved ones suffer from PTSD.”
“Our servicemen and first responders dedicate their lives to protecting us and our freedom. What they experience and the traumas they face, both on the job, and even after they return home and try to reestablish their lives, impact them severely as well as their ability to live quality lives. PTSD doesn’t just happen on the battle field, it doesn’t just happen in foreign lands, it happens every day because so few are properly treated and assisted in recovery. My son could not find the help he needed and ended his life at the age of 30. The suicide rate of PTSD sufferers is an epidemic. Thank you Gene Birdwell and the Birdwell Foundation for PTSD for your steadfast commitment to creating and delivering the programs they need to re-discover and achieve healthy living,” said Sharon Lechter, CEO of Pay Your Family First.
Take action today:
1. Call/write your Congressman and Senators
2. 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: 830-822-2563
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 have and suffer from PTSD. “It is a normal reaction to an abnormal traumatic experience in their life”
6. No one has 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 in communities throughout the United States
8. To donate today to help save the lives of our country’s heroes, click here: https://www.birdwellfoundation.org/donate
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 or call 830-822-2563.