If you think a friend is struggling with a mental health disorder, “be there to help, and not judge.” That’s the advice from retired Maj. Gen. Mark Graham, who has spent more than a decade advancing the public discourse on mental illness. Graham spoke on Oct. 17 at the annual Words of War Gala in New York City.
Graham recently spoke with Task & Purpose, sharing the heartbreaking story of his son’s death by suicide. He said it’s important for people to recognize and be understanding of depression or post-traumatic stress disorder warning signs – especially among veterans and service members.
PTSD can cause sleep disorders, hyper vigilance, survivor’s guilt, and dependence on drugs or alcohol, all of which contribute to higher rates of suicide.
Mental health experts say the condition is treatable, as long as sufferers recognize the problem and have access to quality treatment programs.
“But you have to be willing to get help,” said Zach Iscol, the executive director of The Headstrong Project, which provides treatment for combat veterans.
“Some don’t get help because they don’t think it can work, others don’t get help because they think it’s a sign of weakness,” Iscol added.
Programs like Headstrong work to challenge the social stigma associated with getting mental health treatment. Graham said the stigma is born of the “macho” culture in the military, but it has no basis in fact.
“It’s a sign of strength, not weakness, to get help,” Graham said. “You’re never alone, there’s always help. You offer so much to our nation, to your community, your family and to yourself. Take care of yourself, and get help.”
(U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Alexandria Crawford)
A new survey of thousands of military families released on Wednesday paints a negative picture of privatized military housing, to say the least.
The Military Family Advisory Network surveyed 15,901 adults at 160 locations around the country who are either currently living in privatized military housing, or had lived in privatized housing within the last three years. One of the report's primary takeaways can be summarized in two lines: "Most responses, 93 percent, came from residents living in housing managed by six companies. None of them had average satisfaction rates at or above neutral."
Those six companies are Lincoln Military Housing, Balfour Beatty, Hunt, Lendlease/Winn, Corvias, and Michaels.
What's behind these responses? MFAN points to the "culture of resilience" found in the military community for why military families may be downplaying the severity of their situations, or putting up with subpar conditions.
"[Military] families will try to manage grim living conditions without complaint," MFAN says in its report. "The norm of managing through challenges, no matter their severity, is deeply established in military family life."
ABOARD THE USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT -- Loose lips sink ships, but do they reveal too much about the hugely anticipated "Top Gun" sequel, "Top Gun: Maverick," filmed onboard in February?
Not on this carrier, they don't. Although sailors here dropped a few hints about spotting movie stars around the ship as it was docked in San Diego for the film shoot, no cats — or Tomcats — were let out of the bag.
"I can't talk about that," said Capt. Carlos Sardiello, who commands the Roosevelt.
Robots in the air, on the ocean surface and on the ground guarded British Royal Marines as they stormed a beach during an important April 2019 war game.
The ground robot, in particular, is a new capability for the Royal Marines. The gun- and rocket-armed, tank-like unmanned ground vehicle could boost the naval branch's firepower while helping to keep human beings out of harm's way.
Alpha Company of the Royal Marines' 40 Commando and their robot guardians stormed a beach in Cornwall in southwest England as part of Exercise Commando Warrior. The Royal Marines' 1 Assault Group supported the naval infantry.