As National Suicide Prevention Week comes to a close, we want to highlight the important work our Service to the Armed Forces programs and volunteers are doing to reach out to service members, veterans and their families who may be struggling.
Here, Heidi O’Sheehan, Director of Service to the Armed Forces in South Florida, explains how resiliency workshops are a vital service the Red Cross provides to those who have sacrificed so much for our country:
In a recent Emergency Communication Case for the South Florida Region, a father contacted the Red Cross Hero Care Center (1-877-272-7337) because his daughter, currently serving in the Navy on a ship in the Pacific, sent him a suicidal message then turned off her phone. Fortunately, the Red Cross was able to get a message to her command in time and the sailor was placed under medical observation and given the help she needed. Within two hours, the Red Cross called the father back to let him know she was safe.
Studies have shown that members of the armed forces and veterans commit suicide at up to double the rate of the national average when compared to their civilian counterparts. This is an alarming statistic and the Red Cross is involved in providing mental health services that can help.
The Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces provides free resiliency workshops throughout the United States to service members, veterans and military families. The workshops are facilitated by licensed mental health professionals and are conducted in small groups of 3-15 participants.
These workshops help teach skills such as identifying depression, working through anger, coping with deployments and exploring stress and trauma all of which can help someone avoid a path that may lead to depression and/or suicide. Other workshops teach communication skills as well as Mind and body wellness and relaxation techniques.
Anyone in the South Florida area interested in hosting these free workshops can contact Heidi O'Sheehan at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 954-498-1984.
For more information on the Red Cross’ Service to the Armed Forces and how you can get involved, please visit redcross.org.
Contact the Red Cross Hero Care Center at 1-877-272-7337.
Written by Estefania Garcia