Mission Roll Call raising awareness of veteran suicides
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - June is national PTSD awareness month and a time to to remember the struggles faced by over 600,000 Virginia veterans.
The veteran suicide rate is about 20 a day, and it’s estimated that nearly 50% of veterans aren’t getting access to proper mental healthcare. For those who have loved ones going through PTSD, knowing how to reach out to them can make a big difference.
“If you know something about post traumatic stress a lot of it is learning about what it is and how it presents in different situations, but also asking them hey how you doing? Do you wanna talk about it? What do you need?” says Garrett Cathcart, the executive director of Mission Roll Call, and a combat veteran.
Mission Roll Call is a non-partisan group that reaches out to veterans across the country to give them a voice to represent their needs to lawmakers. They lobby on behalf of veterans and send out individual texts to their veteran members to ask them their opinions on issues. They also work to bring awareness to the problems with the department of veteran’s affairs, and offer alternative options for veteran care by working with non-profits and private care providers.
The group says local communities can play a vital role in helping prevent veteran suicides. “The community knows their veterans better than anyone else, you in the Shenandoah Valley you know your veterans better than anyone else,” said Cathcart. “So when you find that veteran in the community, you connect with that non-profit, you get to know them as a person, I think you start to solve a lot of problems.”
Mission Roll Call has over one million veteran members across the U.S. Any veterans, their family members, or caregivers interested in signing up to be a member can do so here.
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