Suicide Prevention for Our Military and Veterans

Support our wounded warriors. Support the The Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) ActCall your Senators today. Thank you.

To learn more about the life and death of Clay Hunt, watch this 60 Minutes episode in honor of him (transcript of video included): The life and death of Clay Hunt – CBS News

This is the story of one: Clay Hunt from Houston, Texas, a Marine veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. After four years of a downward spiral, he took his own life in 2011. You’ll see him in videos during some of his best times and hear him talk about some of his worst. Hunt loved being a Marine and serving his country and though he had been out of the Corps for two years when he died, Clay Hunt was a casualty of war.

via The life and death of Clay Hunt – CBS News.

Here is NAMI‘s call for action which I received by email today.

Tell Your Senators To Support Suicide Prevention For Our Nation’s Military and Veterans

In one of the first actions in the new Congress, the House passed HR 203, The Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act.  This legislation requires annual assessment of mental health care and suicide prevention programs at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and implements a pilot loan forgiveness program for psychiatrists that agree to serve in the VA.  The bill passed unanimously – demonstrating the strong bipartisan support for addressing gaps in mental health and suicid e prevention programs at the VA.

NAMI strongly supports the Clay Hunt SAV Act.

We are asking you to keep this momentum going by calling your Senators today. Tell them how important this bill is to the mental health care system for our country’s military and veterans.

Click on the link below and fill out your information. Your Senators’ phone numbers will appear along with talking points. Our nation’s military and veterans have protected us for decades; it’s time we help protect them.

Take Action

Ambivalent about My Dogs

I am ambivalent about posting these dog photos. Although I love my dogs, I am still suffering from PTSD from an incident in which I could not control them, and they viciously attacked a greyhound who had just been attacked by another standard poodle the previous week. I took full responsibility for the attack and paid the poor dog’s veterinary bill. Still, I fear walking Thumper (the big guy). He’s too big and I cannot control him.

Interesting metaphor just occurred to me, piggybacking an interpretation offered by my psychologist Friday when I described my fear of violent and agitated men (specifically, agitated and violent seriously mentally ill men). She asked if I may fear that part of me that rages, that goes to that red zone where my rational mind cannot control my behavior. Yes. Yes, I do fear that part of me, and regret the damage done to those I love when I rage.

NAMI Week Six ~ Dual Diagnosis

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference.

Twice today peers, both recovering addicts, have suggested that although I do not drink much, I may be an alcoholic because of my relationship with alcohol (and marijuana, for that matter). The statements ring true. Within me lives an alcoholic over whom I must exert tremendous control. I sense a strong genetic and biological predisposition to alcoholism and marijuana abuse. When I was 17 to 30, I self-medicated using marijuana to slow my thoughts and make me stupid, offering me relief from my hypomanic racing thoughts. Still today, when I see or smell alcohol or marijuana I crave it, and I find myself fighting that craving.

This has been a difficult week for me and my family. For the most part, I am simply going to outline my NAMI Peer-to-Peer week six class, focusing on Dual Diagnosis.

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, approximately 50 percent of individuals diagnosed with severe mental illness are affected by substance abuse. About 37 percent of individuals with alcoholism and 53 percent of individuals with drug addictions have at least one serious mental illness.

NAMI Peer-to-Peer Class 6 Agenda

Trigger Warnings – What’s the Point?

Bipolar Curious wrote this very thoughtful blog post regarding trigger warnings. I stand corrected and educated.

bi[polar] curious

It seems that the topic of trigger warnings has recently exploded through the internet and beyond, and I have to say I have been somewhat concerned about a lot of the things I’ve been reading. It seems like there are some big discrepancies about what people think the point of a trigger warning is, so I’m hoping I can shed a little light here.

First, what is a “trigger warning”?

A “trigger warning” is when someone makes a conscientious effort to label content as something that could potentially trigger episodes associated with mental illness and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). As far as content on the internet is concerned, this tag is usually provided by the creator of the writing or video associated with it.

Are “trigger warnings” considered censorship?

No. Censorship is the suppression of words, images, or ideas that are “offensive”. In the situations where a “trigger warning” tag is being…

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