It’s among America’s most depressing statistic: every single day, 22 veterans commit suicide — fighting invisible enemies far away from battle lines. But, cell phones may become weapons to fight against depression and post-traumatic stress.
Fighting on the front lines in the Iraq war was bad enough for army veteran Dan Jabs.
“We were getting constantly exposed to IEDs,” Jabs said.
But when Dan Jabs returned home, he found out the war, for him, had not ended.
“Panic attacks, insomnia, sleeplessness, restlessness,” he said.
“You see some things that civilians don’t understand,” said Navy veteran Samantha Michelle Reeves. “And because of that, anxiety, constant fight or flight mode, you’re always tense.”
Reeves thought her constant nightmares were actually normal after coming home from operation Iraqi freedom.
“I was also afraid to go ask for help because I thought people are going to look at me like I’m crazy,” Reeves said.
Thankfully, both vets eventually found “vets prevail.” It’s a free, anonymous online resource that connects them with other veterans for support.
“Talk to peers. Because it’s been so helpful, I can’t even describe how helpful,” she said.
Founder and CEO of Vets Prevail, Rich Gengler said a clinical trial already shows ‘Vets Prevail’ works as well as face-to-face sessions and at a fraction of the cost.
“There’s a lot of power in a model like this,” Gengler said.
Now, on the other side of the program, Dan Jabs knows that power.
“I see these guys and gals who are having issues that I’ve been through before, and I recognize that you know what? You can get through this,” Jabs said.
“Vets Prevail” is tailored to the needs of veterans, and vet peers are available 24 hours a day. For more information, or help on this free mental health program, log onto vetsprevail.org.