September 1, 2018
My buddy Sgt. Dave and I went to the Vietnam Memorial across from Lake Baldwin VA clinic on Thursday. Since Suicide Prevention Month was starting on today, we decided to do a couple of videos on the subject.
I called it Suicide Awareness Month because for me, the only way to prevent suicides is by raising awareness of how to do it. The slogan that has become an earworm traps out everything they need to hear.
"If you are one of the 92 percent of the population who regularly experience earworms—snippets of music that pop uninvited into your head and won't go away—you might wish there was a way to make them stop. Earworms are a generally benign form of rumination, the repetitive, intrusive thoughts associated with anxiety and depression."The slogan of "22 a day" is an earworm and does absolutely nothing to offer hope.
We need to replace that earworm with another "slogan" that will empower veterans to discover how powerful they still are. #TakeBackYourLife lets them know that they are in control over their healing.
They are survivors and need to be treated like it. Maybe then they will understand that they have nothing to be ashamed of as someone who risked their lives for others. The price they pay, is because of what they were willing to do.
They are not stuck where they are because they deserve to be, but empowered to use that same courage to take control over their lives again.
They need to be supported by those they risked their lives with. Peer support works better than anything else but fear of judgment from their peers traps them suffering in the silence. If you talk about a slogan, that is where you will leave them...and lose them.