By Carol Seaver
Coming back home from the front lines of war can be a recipe for hurt or suicide or damage to those around you—your family, so say returning veterans. Statistics tell us that 500,000 veterans have been diagnosed with PTSD. Today the risk of suicide is 22% higher for veterans than for their peers who have not served. And female veterans are at an even higher risk than their male counterparts. That’s why three US Army veterans, Brian Kinsella, Nick Black, and Craig Gridelli co-founded Stop Soldier Suicide in 2010 amidst the worst suicide crisis our military has ever seen. They were determined to create a solution to that crisis by offering constructive help where needed.
The problem is clear: the systems in place aren’t working. The founders of Stop Soldier Suicide believe the key to suicide prevention is to help those who served overcome the unique challenges and ‘stressors’ of military service before they reach a crisis point. They say suicide is 100% preventable if veterans get help in time. But getting help isn’t as easy as it should be—and trying to navigate a complicated maze of organizations and resources can be overwhelming when you’re in crisis. Stop Soldier Suicide’s database includes more than 3000+ resources and partner organizations allowing soldiers to link up with those meeting their specific needs. Their resources include mental health, PTSD and TBI (traumatic brain injury) referrals; education and GI bill; emergency financial aid; alternative therapies (HBOT- hyperbaric oxygen therapy, art therapy, equine therapy, etc.); housing assistance; retreats; and much more!
Over 300 military and veterans are served annually. 68% of their clients are service members, and 32% are military family members.
Stop Soldier Suicide, a 501©3 organization, has earned a Gold designation (second highest) with GuideStar Exchange, an information service specializing in reporting on US non-profits.
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Carol graduated from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Arts and Wayne State University with a master’s degree– both in elementary education– with an emphasis on birth to eight years. She is a wife, mom, grandmother, and retired teacher. She has lived in St.Clair County for decades, but hails from Portage where she left part of her heart. As a Christian, she works for God and country, trying to educate the uninformed and set the captives free. She has a keen eye for what ails the culture and, when she realized the downward spiral we were on, was called to fight for her country in 2009, using political activism from a Christian worldview. She is grateful for this platform from which to speak.
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