Posted by: andreazastrow | March 25, 2015

PTSD and TBI Resources

Welcome back to the Pets for Vets Chicagoland blog!

We hope that this blog will serve as an additional resource to our veterans who have given so much. Though it is a heavy topic to discuss, veteran suicide is an exceptionally important issue to us. The month of March is both Brain Injury Awareness Month and Self Harm Awareness Month, two problems that often go hand-in-hand for our veterans. Many soldiers return from their service with physical scars; but it is those wounds that we don’t see that can be the most dangerous. Veteran suicide occurs at an alarming rate with “roughly 22 former servicemen and women committing suicide every day”. (Nicks, Denver. “Report: suicide Rate Soars Among Young Vets.” Time. Time, 10 Jan. 2014.) Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injuries and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder include headaches, trouble sleeping, anxiety, and depression. These symptoms are disruptive and can become dangerous. Thankfully, there are a host of resources that can keep those who are suffering safe.

Here are our top five:

Veteran’s Crisis Line (1800-273-8255 and Press 1): A branch of the Suicide Preventions Lifeline provides confidential help for veterans and their families. Those looking to get in touch with this organization may call, text, or chat online. There is even an additional option for those who may be deaf or hard of hearing.

U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs: The VA has compiled an extensive list of resources, including those with PTSD and TBI outreach programs. This website also features a hospital locator, medical center locator, and list of Vet Centers.

Real Warriors: This group features a wealth of information about PTSD and how to cope with it. Real Warriors includes sections about managing anxiety disorders, relaxations techniques, stress management, and cognitive rehabilitation. Also included on the website are outreach centers and branch specific resources.

Healing Heroes Network: Those who seek the help of Healing Heroes benefit from financial assistance that is used for quality care upon their return from active duty, after being injured in Iraq or Afghanistan. Part of their work includes a program called Tablets for Heroes, which helps to keep those suffering from PTSD and TBIs organized, following a schedule, and connected to cognitive assistance.

Pets for Vets: Our goal is to help heal the emotional wounds of military veterans by pairing them with a shelter animal that is specially selected to match his or her personality. Professional animal trainers rehabilitate the animals and teach them good manners to fit into the veteran’s lifestyle. Training can also include desensitization to wheel chairs or crutches as well as recognizing panic or anxiety disorder behaviors.

Most importantly, if you are feeling alone and have thoughts of harming yourself, please seek the help of a doctor or mental health professional, or call the suicide prevention hotline!




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