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National PTSD crisis kills far too many. It can no longer be ignored

PTSD Awareness Month is a reminder that many veterans, first responders and more struggle with anxiety, depression and broken homes inthe wake of far too many suicides.

June has been set aside to promote awareness of a major issue facing a demographic that is struggling and minimally supported. No, I’m not talking about Pride. I’m talking about PTSD, which is especially acute among veterans, military service members and first responders, and which is only part of the greater mental health crisis that has swept this nation. 

Local and international governing bodies, corporations, academia, media, entertainment and almost every other industry go out of their way in June to support and promote LGBTQ Pride, reminding the nation what the month now represents. Meanwhile, those who selflessly served this nation to protect the freedoms, rights and safety of every person, including the LGBTQ community, are mostly overlooked. 

This leaves many struggling with anxiety, depression and broken homes in the wake of suicides occurring at a rate of over 20 a day in our military community alone, and equally as tragic for our first responders. Theirs is a silent struggle as society’s awareness and support are apparently reserved for more politically relevant demographics.

PTSD Awareness Month follows Mental Health Awareness Month, both coming and going with little attention or awareness despite the devastating mental health crisis that has recently swept our nation.

I WAS READY TO KILL MYSELF AFTER GETTING PTSD FIGHTING IN AFGHANISTAN. HERE'S WHAT TURNED EVERYTHING AROUND

Veteran, military and first responder communities are seeing an epidemic of suicide, as are our nation’s youth. If there really is a surge in gender dysphoria, that’s simply another signal of the worsening mental health crisis we face. But no one seems willing to call the problem what it is and face the real issues head on.

The real issues that are affecting this nation are falling through the cracks as we focus on sensationalized agendas and narratives. We don’t see veterans getting city parades or invitations to the White House lawn to recognize their struggles, appreciate their sacrifices, or promote solutions. Instead, we see their support programs discouraged or cut as unnecessary and politically incorrect. 

Despite political promises to the contrary, the VA’s faith- and community-based support programs have been disappearing. Likewise, such programs and practices for active-duty service members, including the tradition of issuing a Bible to every new service member, are being stripped from our military and carefully replaced with the new religion of "wokeism."

COVID policies dealt a devastating blow to isolated youth and the Afghanistan withdrawal debacle left veterans and service members wondering if their sacrifices were worth it when it was all seemingly for nothing. Shockingly, it was recently discovered that the VA has been undercounting the epidemic of veteran suicide. One can’t help but wonder why they would go to such lengths to avoid acknowledging and addressing such a devastating issue.

WHAT IS PTSD? EXPLORE MEANING, SYMPTOMS, COMMON TREATMENT OPTIONS

When President Donald Trump entered the White House, I had the opportunity to lead the charge to reimplement some of the faith- and community-based programs offered through the VA. All that progress has since been reversed by the Biden administration. If we wanted to thank our selfless service members for their sacrifice on behalf of this nation, restricting the options and availability of mental health support is not a great way to do it.

To fill the gaps left by administrations that have failed this marginalized and struggling demographic, I started the Mighty Oaks Foundation, which offers non-clinical faith-based peer-to-peer mentoring programs. Through these all-expenses-paid programs, we have served over half a million people struggling with PTSD and related mental health challenges by utilizing the wholesome and uplifting practices that we see being scrubbed from our society at large.

On top of the disappearance of wholesome and uplifting programs for those struggling with mental health challenges, our nation has become increasingly fragile by also removing grit and discouraging personal resilience. The list of "offensive" things is endless, and victimhood is celebrated and facilitated. This has created a society of people who lack both the capacity to overcome challenges and any interest in doing so.

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Matters are made worse by unprecedented divisiveness. In our highly politicized society, truth is elusive while confusion is widespread. 

With everchanging definitions, the forced acceptance of nonreality, and blurred lines of safety and propriety, it’s no wonder America’s youth are confused, anxious and depressed. As for the military and first responders, they watch as the flag they have sacrificed to defend, which represents freedom and prosperity for all, is sweepingly replaced by a flag representing a radical and divisive few. 

Society at large is confused to see violent career criminals memorialized while law-abiding citizens are vilified. We marvel at authority figures who insist there is economic strength and prosperity even as families struggle to pay their bills. We see our tax dollars wasted on failing pet agendas while our communities deteriorate in chaos and disrepair. Is it any wonder we face a mental health crisis?

This crisis will not be resolved by pretending it doesn’t exist or focusing our attention on the sensational symptoms of the crisis. As a nation, we must be brave enough to stand up for truth and face the reality of the issues we need to address. 

I know from experience that overcoming is never easy, but I also know it makes for a healthier and happier person. Likewise, overcoming as a society may not be easy or quick enough to be used as political "wins," but it will make for a healthier and happier nation.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM CHAD ROBICHAUX

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