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Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists

Archive for June 2010

VIDEO: “Veterans and Suicide — We Must Overcome”

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“A healthy veteran is a successful citizen.”

That line appears in the final seconds of a video I recently found on Twitter (via “MilSupport“). This video (which is almost more like a powerpoint), titled “Veterans and Suicide — We Must Overcome,” is absolutely worth checking out. It comes from the group Vets Prevail (they have a Youtube channel and a Facebook page). In less than three minutes, ‘Veterans and Suicide’ conveys the lasting impact that mental illness has on our soldiers.

The theme of this video is one we’ve covered on this blog many times before: how a soldier’s fight on the battlefield doesn’t always stay there; sometimes the war follows you home.

Here are just a few examples of some of the startling facts this video shares:

On average, 18 veterans take their own lives everyday — that’s one death every hour and twenty minutes.

Almost 40% of veterans who have served in Iraq are diagnosed with a mental health issue. One-third receive only minimal care, another third receive no care at all.

Compared to the civilian population, veterans with depression and/or PTSD are more likely to be homeless, suffer from substance abuse, get divorced, become unemployed and attempt suicide.

Simply stated, our veterans aren’t getting all the help they deserve. “It’s time for us to serve them.”

The video concludes with this call to action: “They keep us safe. Help keep them safe.”

Click here to see more on Facebook.

Written by traumalines

June 28, 2010 at 9:23 pm

Recognizing Our Corporate Sponsor: First Principles Communication

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We would like to take a moment to recognize our first corporate sponsor for our 2010 conference, “Safely in Our Hands: Helping Our Helpers Stay Healthy.”

First Principles Communication, established in 2004, is providing Public Relations and media relations counsel for the Association of Traumatic Stress Specialist’s (ATSS) 2010 conference. In addition, the firm is providing marketing ideas and identifying potential corporate sponsors as well as specific partnership leads for ATSS to pursue.

Our contacts are Jana Schilder, partner, and Brian Kilgore, partner, with 26 and 35 years of experience in the Public Relations industry, respectively. Together, they have represented the interests of clients in the corporate, quasi-government, professional services, and non-profit sectors.

We thank Ms. Schilder and Mr. Kilgore for their generous support of the ATSS conference and broad, over-arching Public Relations and media relations counsel.

Interested in becoming a sponsor for our upcoming conference? CLICK HERE for more details.

Written by traumalines

June 22, 2010 at 9:45 pm

“Striking a Chord”: A Music Documentary for our Soldiers

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What does music do? What purpose does it serve?

The great thing about music is that, no matter the genre, no matter the fan, you tend to hear the same answers to those questions time and again: it soothes, it helps you forget about your problems for just a little while, it evokes emotion, you can sympathize with the words…oh yeah, and it sounds good.

Just the other day I heard about a music documentary called “Striking a Chord.” Singer-songwriter Nell Bryden has traveled to the Middle East with her band not only to entertain our troops, but as the famous Billy Joel lyric goes, to get the troops “to forget about life for a while.”

Here’s a description of the documentary:

A description for the documentary: The impetus for making Striking a Chord is our growing awareness of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and its devastating effects. As director Susan Cohn Rockefeller researched the project, she realized how little civilians actually know about the demands made on soldiers stationed in combat zones.

Striking a Chord brings the audience right into the army bases in Iraq. The film shows the boredom and isolation, the effect of repeated deployments, and the need to create experiences that bring the troops some consolation. Long lines of soldiers waiting to speak with Nell Bryden and the band after every concert attest to the effect of the music on the troops. Their fervent applause and heartfelt comments show how deeply they respond to the concerts. Music can heal invisible wounds. As singer-songwriter Nell Bryden and her band tour Iraq, we see firsthand the joy their music brings the troops serving there. Striking a Chord shows how music can help soldiers combat the pain of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD.)

Click here to view the film’s trailer.

Written by traumalines

June 19, 2010 at 9:18 am

An Amazing Video of a Flood Rescue in Oklahoma

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One of our Twitter followers tweeted about this video yesterday. If you haven’t seen it already, you have to check it out. Trauma response teams are on the ground in the flood-ravaged Midwest, but the waters are rising too fast for some. Here is a video of an Oklahoma flood victim, literally clinging to safety as rescue teams make their way to save to her:

Written by traumalines

June 15, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Get Your Teenage Driver to Use Their Brain

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Sometimes a job can change your life. Perhaps you meet some great people, establish some lasting friendships, or get really involved and committed to the cause you’re working towards. I found all of those things at my first job out of college working for the Brain Injury Association of New Jersey.

Beyond the many services BIANJ offers, they manage a website called “UgotBrains.” When creating the teen-focused website, BIANJ’s goal was to deliver accurate, graphic, hard-hitting information to get young Americans to start thinking with their heads when they’re behind the wheel.

“Car crashes are the #1 cause of death in teens,” reads the text under one of the many pictures on the homepage. Since the website went live, UgotBrains has tried to educate teens on auto safety in order to prevent the trauma associated with car crashes and traumatic brain injuries.

If you know a teen driver, or if you’re looking to create a teen-focused website of your own, I suggest you check out UgotBrains.

Written by traumalines

June 14, 2010 at 8:49 pm

WTC Clean-Up Workers Get Additional Aid

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About 10,000 “rescue and cleanup workers” employed by New York City to clean up ground zero after the World Trade Center attacks, had a recent judicial ruling go in their favor. According to the New York Times, the workers responsible for cleaning up the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks have been stricken with a variety of serious illnesses.

A settlement was reached back in March but was later rejected by a federal judge. In addition to the physical and mental constraints, the workers have also had to pay expensive legal fees:

A federal judge rejected an earlier settlement in March as inadequate. After nearly three months of renegotiations, the city’s insurer, the WTC Captive Insurance Company, has agreed to increase its payout to plaintiffs to $712.5 million. The previous terms called for payouts of $575 million to $657.5 million.

The workers sued the city and its contractors six years ago over respiratory illnesses and other injuries they say they suffered at the World Trade Center site in the 9/11 rescue and cleanup effort, arguing that they were not given protective equipment or adequate supervision.

In addition to the trauma sustained by the victims of 9/11, the disaster’s first responders sustained significant trauma as well. Hopefully this most-recent settlement will help thousands of workers find some form of closure to their ongoing struggles:

Kenneth R. Feinberg, the former special master of the federal compensation fund that paid awards to families of 9/11 victims in a separate process, said, “This settlement brings to an end one of the final chapters of the 9/11 tragedy.”

Paul Napoli, a lawyer representing thousands of the firefighters, said the new deal “can be described in three words: bigger and better.”

Written by traumalines

June 13, 2010 at 9:57 am

Recap: Our Recent Blog Posts

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Let’s take a quick look at some of our recent blog posts to make sure everyone is caught up.

Are You Ready for Hurricane Season?

With hurricane season already underway, time is running short to make sure that you’re prepared for the season which stretches from June 1 to November 30. The fact that hurricane experts are expecting this season to be much more active than last year is even more of a reason to make sure your family, home and finances are ready.

Click here to read more.

Update1: Happy Memorial Day

Update1: While at work today, I came across a blog post that I felt would make an excellent, and in fact necessary, update to our “Happy Memorial Day” post (see ‘original’ below).

Like most Memorial Day messages, our post was an extension of our gratitude to ”all the servicemen and woman who have served.” Beyond the soldiers, war requires other selfless individuals to make the ultimate sacrifice. The post that I came across reminded us all not to forget about the nurses.

Click here to read more.

The Latest Issue of Our Trauma Lines Newsletter Is Out!

The May edition of ATSS’ Trauma Lines Newsletter is out, and we want to hear what you think about it. Share your opinions, offer up some advice or just speak your mind by leaving us a comment (click leave a comment in the upper-left corner, just under the title of this post, see above).

The May edition of Trauma Lines showcased ATSS’ upcoming conference — “Safely in Our Hands: Helping Our Helpers Stay Healthy” — including a preview of one of the presentations, as well as a brief background on two of the conference’s confirmed speakers.

Click here to read more.

Extra Care for Your Child After Trauma

A child’s reaction to trauma is much different than an adult’s, there’s no doubt about that. Yet, “they can expe­ri­ence equally pow­er­ful emo­tions,” writes John Page, senior vice pres­i­dent for Child, Ado­les­cent and Fam­ily Ser­vices at Cen­ter­stone.

Click here to read more.

Have an idea for a blog post? Leave us a comment and let us know your idea!

Written by traumalines

June 9, 2010 at 6:52 pm