Our goal to help veterans with mental health struggles. Each month of the year has a different focus and national awareness. We will be adding easy to read resources for that month for veterans and therapists alike. Please click on the month below and it will drop down several links when they are available. Resources will be made available at the beginning of each month.
We understand that the topic of suicide is difficult to talk about and people feel that if they mention the word to someone it will push them to act. That is not necessarily the case.
The statistics for suicide among military and veterans is astounding. It is twice that of the civilian population and has increased by 35% since 2001. Suicide and suicide attempts rose 80% between 2004 -2008 in the Army alone. The pain and suffering can become too overwhelming to handle. There are many resources available to help when issues feel too much to handle. Following are a list of some articles and websites that we hope are helpful to you and your family.
We feel that it is important to understand and address what the signs are before a suicide, how to deal with a buddy’s suicide, how to not become a copycat and most important, how to talk to your loved ones about suicide and how you can move on to a healthy life after a suicide attempt.Signs of Crisis
It is no surprise that National Mental Health Wellness Month and National Hobby Month are together and in January. Historically most people feel that January is a time to make changes. We have completed the overindulgence of the past six or seven weeks of holidays. It is a new month and a new year so time to pull it back together. We make plans and promises that never seem to last more than a few day. These are called resolutions. Resolution is defined as a firm decision to bring about change. This feels rigid and unattainable. I look at New Year’s resolution as setting oneself up to fail. Many years ago I learned that grace and understanding is what is needed for success. You need to give yourself love and understanding, you need to set small goals to attain the big ones and first and foremost you need to cut yourself some slack. Don’t make excuses but give yourself room and time to breath. No one is perfect. We will all have set backs and stumbles, it’s what we do and how we deal with them that makes us successful.
Instead of making New Year’s Resolutions in January, this time, try setting goals for the year. It does not have a definitive date that you start it but has an end date so that you can measure how far you’ve come. Goals for the year instead of resolutions psychologically sets you up for success. Goals allow you to stumble or relapse and says, hey, we can start again. In December when you are reevaluating your years, you most likely won’t look at the stumbles but the success you’ve achieved by meeting the goal. This is where Mental Health Wellness comes in. Be kind to yourself, give yourself some grace and understanding but don’t make excuses and ask for help when needed. If you are struggling with someone or something it is nice to voice that to someone that is not emotionally involved in the situation. Invite someone from the outside to look in and help you untangle the problem, and allow you the freedom to talk through solution. Visit your local counselor. One of Freud’s patients once said that therapy was like getting your chimney swept. It gets all the old stuff out and allows for clear pathways for the new stuff. This year get your chimney swept.
National Hobby Month is perfect for mental health. Find a new hobby or resurrect an old one that you loved as a kid. Hobbies are good for distraction when things get tough, they allow you to feel free and lighthearted and they allow the mind to focus on the creative right side of the brain instead of the logic, analytical side of the left brain where trauma and problems fester.
We are not going to offer links this month because your job in January is to find or resurrect a hobby, set small goals for the year and find a therapist to talk through hard issues.
Have a fabulous year.
Your staff at Dragonfly Retreats
April is sexual assault awareness month. The VA estimates that there is a rape in our military somewhere in the world every half hour. Military Sexual Trauma (MST) is an acronym in the military that has been around since the 1980’s and most people still do not know what it is. The military has very strict definitions of sexual harassment and sexual assault. We at Dragonfly Retreats work with survivors of sexual assault that has led to trauma. Sadly, the rape often is the catalyst for the assaulted victim to have other major issues, like alcohol or drug abuse. Without trying to help, often times the military will just discharge the victim and then creates even more issues. Think of this scenario. You get raped while serving your country, you know no one is going to believe you, maybe your where threatened by a higher up or bullied by a fellow service member. You are 18 or 19 years old and not sure how to handle this situation, are far from home, ashamed and more often than not, in shock at what just happened. You use alcohol or drugs to help deal with this, you get a DUI and next thing you know you are getting a dishonorable discharge. This alone will stop you from being able to receive MST help or support from the VA. This is where Dragonfly Retreats steps in. We are here to help empower you over these traumas, instead of these trauma continuing to have power over you.
If you need something more or have questions about MST please do not hesitate to contact us through our website.
Remember to wear your teal ribbon this month to support Sexual Assault Awareness. There is hope and healing available.