"The bravest thing I ever did was continuing my life when I wanted to die."~ Juliette Lewiseil Gaiman
"Mental illnessPeople assume you aren’t sick
unless they see the sickness on your skin like scars forming a map of all the ways you’re hurting.My heart is a prison of Have you tried?Have you tried exercising?Have you tried eating better?Have you tried not being sad, not being sick?Have you tried being more like me?Have you tried shutting up?Yes, I have tried. Yes, I am still trying, and yes, I am still sick.Sometimes monsters are invisible, and sometimes demons attack you from the inside.Just because you cannot see the claws and the teeth does not mean they aren’t ripping through me.Pain does not need to be seen to be felt.Telling me there is no problem
won’t solve the problem.This is not how miracles are born.
This is not how sickness works."~ Emm Roy,
The First Step
"Maybe we all have darkness inside of us and some of us are better at dealing with it than others."~ Jasmine Warga,
My Heart and Other Black Holes
VA has a variety of mental health resources, information, treatment options, and more — all accessible to Veterans, Veterans’ supporters, and the general public. Explore the pages below to learn more about a specific mental health topic or to find information specifically tailored to your needs.
Two-Week In-Person IOPThe Road Home Program offers a two-week, in-person Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). Their clinicians deliver high-quality care and support.This program is available for veterans, active-duty service members, members of the National Guard, reservists and families, at no cost and regardless of discharge status.Call them at (312) 942-8387 (VETS) or fill out their Get Care form in order to sign up for the IOP.(A ZEN FORCE Team Member has successfully completed this program and happily recommends it. So please, let them know you learned about the program from the ZEN FORCE veterans mental health campaign.)
Emory Healthcare Veterans ProgramThis program offers two treatment pathways: An Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) and traditional Outpatient Program (OP). Both pathways are offered in-person as well as via telehealth.**If you are an Atlanta local or from other parts of the country, you may participate in their two-week IOP. However, because their traditional Outpatient Program’s length of treatment varies and requires multiple visits to their clinic in Atlanta, this treatment option is best suited for warriors who live in the Metro Atlanta area and aren’t able to take off two weeks for the IOP. **
To get more information and/or to speak with a fellow Veteran, please contact Outreach Coordinator, Imarii Poin-dexter, at the Emory Healthcare Veterans Program. She's awesome!(Please click her image below to access her contact information.)
To speak to someone in general and/or to determine your eligibility for evaluation, please call 888-407-2307 or complete their private online form and someone will contact you.
The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that 20-22 Veterans per day die from suicide.This is one loss every 65-72 minutes, totaling 7,300-8,030 deaths per year, 18-20 percent of all suicides in the United States.The biggest age spikes are 18-29 years old and over 50 years old. Recent research shows that the first year after separation from the military is the highest spike.The National Alliance to End Veteran Suicide's mission is to End Suicide via the focus of Education, Resources, Research, and Community.
Project Hero is a groundbreaking national non-profit organization dedicated to helping Veterans and First Responders affected by PTSD, TBI and injury achieve rehabilitation, recovery, and resilience in their daily lives and increasing awareness to combat the national mental health emergency posed by PTSD and TBI.**Their programs including Ride 2 Recovery events and Project Hero HUB Community Centers produce positive outcomes at lower costs and reduce drug-based therapies. The organization also builds and provides adaptive bikes to physically-challenged and injured Veterans and First Responders and founded the Project Hero Institute for Mental Health to support clinical research programs in 2016. **
While there are a multitude of veteran mental health resources available, seeking assistance from a local DAV benefits expert can be a first step toward learning about earned benefits or finding the counseling or mental health services needed to diagnose and treat PTSD.
(For more information regarding any of the issues below, please click the correlating image to access the VA's applicable page.)
Anyone can experience MST, regardless of gender. Like other types of trauma, MST can negatively affect a person’s mental and physical health, even many years later.
If you are having current difficulties related to MST, the VA can support you in whatever way will help you best — from simply learning more about how MST affects people, to treatment that helps you cope with how MST is impacting your life currently, or if you prefer, treatment that involves discussing your experiences in more depth.
The symptoms and effects of posttraumatic stress disorder, commonly known as PTSD, can disrupt your everyday life. People with PTSD sometimes withdraw from their family members and friends. They can find it hard to concentrate, startle easily, and lose interest in things they used to care about. Some may try to dull their feelings by misusing alcohol or drugs.If you think you might have PTSD, there are resources to help you recover. Even if your symptoms come and go — or surfaced months or years after the traumatic event — effective treatments are available. Explore this page to learn about treatment options, self-help tools, and more.
If you are a Veteran who identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or another related identity (LGBTQ+) who is facing a mental health challenge — no matter how big or small — you are not alone.
Studies have shown that LGBTQ+ Veterans are at an elevated risk for stress. This stress can increase the risk for certain mental and physical health conditions, such as substance use disorders, anxiety, and depression. VA is dedicated to being a leader in providing high-quality health care for LGBTQ+ Veterans — and helping all Veterans manage mental health challenges in a sensitive, respectful environment.
Owning a dog can lift your mood or help you feel less stressed. Dogs can help people feel better by providing assistance and companionship. All dog owners, including those who have
PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and/or MST (Military Sexual Trauma)
can experience these benefits.
(For more information, please click the image above to access the Vets w/ Pets site.)
Connect With Stories of Help and HopeFind Stories Like Yours...Via video and podcast, veterans and their loved ones talk about their experiences, challenges, and recovery.
After a traumatic event — like combat, an assault, or a disaster — it's normal to feel scared, keyed up, or sad at first. But if it's been months or years since the trauma and you're not feeling better, you may have PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder).Via the VA's AboutFace | National Center for PTSD, watch videos of Veterans, family members, and clinicians sharing their experiences with PTSD and PTSD treatment.
Road Home's Will Beiersdorf talks with veterans and their families about their journeys transitioning to civilian life. During every episode you’ll hear from subject matter experts, like Rush clinicians, staff and community partners, discussing resources and services available to veterans to help them heal from the invisible wounds of war.
"Poor mental health is no excuse for bad behavior. So, as we heal, we must also be mindful of how we treat others, release ourselves from always “playing the victim,” take personal responsibility for our actions and hold ourselves accountable. Like it or not, we must live in this world with others, to whatever degree. Therefore, activate and enhance your CPT/DBT skills, not only for yourself but to also aid in improving human dynamics."
Begin your journey by joining How to Be a Better Human as they take a look within and beyond ourselves.How to Be a Better Human isn't your average self improvement podcast. Each week join comedian Chris Duffy in conversation with guests and past speakers as they uncover sharp insights and give clear takeaways on how YOU can be a better human.From your work to your home and your head to your heart, How to Be a Better Human looks in unexpected places for new ways to improve and show up for one another.Inspired by the popular series of the same name on TED's Ideas blog, How to Be a Better Human will help you become a better person from the comfort of your own headphones.
Make the Connection and Read Their Stories...Learn about Veterans, mental health, and recovery.
○ Veteran Talks About Removing Stigma Around PTSD, Mental Health○ What Is Complex PTSD, and Is It Different from PTSD?○ TBD
○ Holistic Thinking: Examples, Importance and How to Think Holistically○ Trust the Process: 10 Reasons Why It's Important In Life○ Watch Your Thoughts: Why It Is Important And Practical Tips To Change○ Tips & Tricks How To Clear Your Mind Effectively & Why It's Important ○ Could Transcendental Meditation Treat PTSD?○ TBD
○ TBD○ Discovering the Reiki Precepts
”When ‘I’ is replaced by ‘We’
even illness becomes wellness.”
- Malcolm X
Join the Zen Force Team by following or signing up for any of the opportunities below.
☆ LEARN ☆
VA S.A.V.E. Training helps you remember four actionable steps you can take to support a Veteran in crisis.Learn more here.
“Military-Veteran Mental Health First Aid is definitely a class that I would recommend to anyone in a situation to respond to military members crisis. I feel better equipped to assist in mental health incidents since attending.”Mental Health First Aid is a valuable resource that can make a difference in the lives of the more than 22 million veterans, their families, and the communities they live in.Family members and personnel working with military and families are often not aware of how to engage veterans with mental illnesses and addictions.Individuals trained in Military-Veteran Mental Health First Aid can help to:• Break down the stigma associated with mental illness like anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and substance use disorders• Reach out to those who suffer in silence, reluctant to seek help• Let veterans know that support is available in their community• Provide community resource information•Make mental healthcare and treatment accessible to thousands in need
☆ EARN ☆
Help by earning free giftcards and redeem them as donations to Project Hero just by snapping your receipts w/ Fetch Rewards!It’s so easy & we just know you’re going to love it! Sign up via the button below and receive a bonus 2k points on your 1st receipt.
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VetTix provides tickets to events which reduce stress, strengthen family bonds, build life-long memories and encourage service members and veterans to stay engaged with local communities and American life. They support our troops by honoring their service and providing positive family and life experiences, during and after their years of service to our country.For every new account established through our link, we will receive points to apply towards tickets which require pirchase. This allows us to expand our volunteer appreciation for helping us maintain our cause.SIGN UP TODAY FOR A TOTALLY FREE ACCOUNT!(Please click the logo above to access our VetTix link.)
Center for Women Veterans (CWV)
VHA LGBTQ+ Health Program
Veterans w/ Physical Limitations
Center for Minority Veterans (CMV)
Veterans at Age 65 or Older
Veterans Who Are Homeless or At Risk of Homelessness
The parent organization behind Zen Force & Vets w/ Pets."With the right set of mind, with the right people, with the right support, things happen." ~Grigor Dimitrov
Veterans Support Syndicate
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STE F #756
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
BREATHE IN COURAGE, BREATHE OUT FEAR
#Veteran & #Advocate, Jai of @ZenForceVets, stops by & talks to Big Kev (@Laugh4APurpose) about being a female in the #military & also about the importance of talking about #MST, #PTSD & other #mentalhealth issues.https://t.co/prpOxgUjG7#vetshelpingvets #BeThe1To #podcast pic.twitter.com/7MoghVBExv— Breathe In Courage, Breathe Out Fear 💪🏾🧠☯️🎖 (@ZenForceVets) March 15, 2022
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