Mental health resources available in Big Bend area to help with PTSD

Mental health resources available in the Big Bend to help with PTSD
Mental health resources available in the Big Bend to help with PTSD
Posted at 5:52 PM, Nov 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-11 14:28:07-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - The National Center for PTSD reports eight percent of U.S. veterans have had Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder at some point in their life.

That percentage is higher for vets who served in the Vietnam War, Gulf War, and Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

Sometimes war happens off the battlefield and for those who've served in the military, the memories, images and horrors they've seen stay with them.

"You never know. I mean, there are some veterans that never deploy that need help. There are veterans that deploy a lot that don't ask for help that probably should ask for help," said  President of Florida Veterans Foundation, Commander Dennis Baker.

The Florida Veterans Foundation is working with other groups to launch an app for veterans who need that help.

"That app will, with one button push, will connect them to a crisis center in Florida that will give them peer-to-peer, veteran-to-veteran service and will answer questions," said Commander Baker.

The Florida Association of Managing Entities helps about 300,000 Floridians, including many veterans. The CEO said local partners like the 211 Big Bend hotline and Apalachee Center are available for support.

"If a veteran has an issue and they feel maybe suicidal, or maybe even their family has a concern ,there are programs, there are services out there for the individual," said Natalie Kelly."So, the whole purpose is to make sure that people know that there's help."

Failing to treat PTSD has led thousands of veterans to commit suicide.

A September 2018 report from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs states more than 6,000 veterans committed suicide every year from 2008 to 2016.

The Florida Veterans Foundation said making one phone call can help save someone's life.

"We're working really, really hard to get out there and let the veterans know that they have an avenue that they can go to, and we're here to help them," said Commander Baker.