The numbers of suicide in the US military are up for the fifth year in a row affecting not only current troops, but also veterans, and families.
Nowaday, this problem gets worst as covid-19 pandemic is forcing them to stay in isolation.
The American Bible Society has rolled out the “God Understands Campaign”. The goal of this organization is helping service members who are struggling with mental health challenges like depression.
A retired Army Chaplain, Gordon Groseclose, who works with the God Understands Campaign explained that the organization wants people to realize they are ot the only one facing a hard situation and that they are not alone.
“So, the emphasis behind God understands is for people to listen to other stories to realize they’re not the only one who’s feeling like they’ve failed, they’re not the only one to walk this journey by themselves,” Groseclose said.
The program they use includes testimonies from people who attempted suicide while in the army.
Bryan Flanery is one of those who shared his testimony. He recounts how difficult it was for him.
“Almost every day at the start of my day I remember sitting in that empty barracks room and I let myself feel those emotions again,” Flanery said.
“The hopelessness, the pain, the anguish. Then I look at my life today and I see how God truly didn’t put a band-aid on it but he truly restored my soul,” he added.
Faith is important
But despite facing that situation, Flanery affirmed there is hope, only in Jesus. “The way of ending veteran suicide is with Jesus,” he said.
Like Flanery, some experts affirms that faith is what’s called a “protective factor” when it comes to suicide. Those who practice their faith are at a lower risk of commiting suicide.
Director of military and veterans health policy at the American Psychological Association, Dr. Heather Kelly, affirms that the problem of suicide is goes beyond military service.
“It’s a complicated problem and lots of different reasons for different people,” Kelly said.
“About half of those military service members who die by suicide have never deployed much less seen combat. They’re subject to life stress that has nothing to do with their military service just like the rest of us”.
Source: The Christian Post