Kansas City, Missouri 2021-09-17 06:15:44 –
Kansas City, Missouri — September is Suicide Prevention Month, and one of the highest risk groups for suicide is military and veterans.
Over the last two decades, an estimated 30,177 active or veterans have died in suicide. According to this, this is almost four times as many as those who died in battle. Study by Brown University..
Veterans have recently faced many potential triggers, from the turmoil in Afghanistan to the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and the continued isolation of pandemics.
In these difficult times, a Kansas City-based organization called Team Fidelis is working to disseminate information about its resources to help prevent military suicide.
Jason Rudolf first found Team Fideris a few years ago, more than 20 years after he left the Army.
He has deployed to several countries, but he said he was most annoyed during his time in Somalia.
“In combat situations, that is, you are definitely going home,” he said. “So there are things you will see and there are things you have to do to make sure you get home.”
His mental health reached its limit in 2019.
“I didn’t want to live, so I went to a dark place,” he said. “And I almost committed suicide.”
That’s where Team Fidelis came in.
According to Rudolph, Team Fideris Executive Director Daniel Brazell immediately came to the rescue, talked to him and introduced additional resources to help.
Brazzell has a unique history of mental health challenges. After 10 years in the Marine Corps, he was discharged due to post-traumatic stress disorder.
A few years later, he wanted to help fellow veterans find a way to deal with it. At that time, he helped form Team Fideris.
“The biggest thing that helped me was to help other veterans,” Brazell said.
Through outreach events, Team Fideris helps veterans find a sense of belonging.
“We need to re-engage veterans in the community. They need to escape. We need to free them from isolation,” Brazzell said. “We need to connect them to each other so that they can heal each other in some way.”
Rudolph is currently working as a veteran navigator for the organization, helping fellow veterinarians learn about the resources available.
He also wants to encourage more veterans to talk about their feelings and find ways to relieve the shame, fear, or guilt they may be feeling.
“You can’t bottle it. That’s the biggest thing. You can’t leave it bottled,” he said. “And it took years to learn it.”
Knowing the suicide warning sign is important:
- Isolation-People who are thinking of suicide may leave their family and friends.
- Habit changes
- Talk about despair and lack of purpose
- Talk about being a burden to others
- Extreme mood unevenness
If family and friends become aware of these behaviors, take the following actions:
- Don’t leave people alone
- Ask them if they are okay or need help
- Let them share what is easy to share, but don’t pressure them to share more
- If they have a firearm in the house, offer to hold it until they feel good
- Encourage them to seek professional help
- Help them find a community of other veterans to talk to
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Team Fideris is 816-301-4140 or Through that website..
Also on the Team Fidelis website Extensive list of resources Includes physical and mental health, housing and legal aid assistance for veterans.
Veteran group working to prevent military suicides Source link Veteran group working to prevent military suicides