A Marine Corps veteran who served his country for 10 years and three deployments, Kyle was in crisis the night he discovered Stop Soldier Suicide.
He was, in his words, prepared to take his own life before the result of a Google search spurred him to make the call for help.
“That call was so important,” he told us. “Without it, we wouldn’t even be talking right now. After that, I put the pistol down.”
Kyle came to us feeling hopeless and overwhelmed, facing a multitude of both short and long-term obstacles. In addition to a myriad of physical issues lingering from a successful bout with cancer, he struggled with PTSD and other mental health challenges as a result of long-term trauma that began with childhood abuse.
Over a nine-month period, our Wellness Center team - notably Ann, one of our team leads - worked intensely with Kyle as he fought to stay alive. We were able to facilitate in-patient PTSD trauma-informed care for Kyle, remaining by his side each step of the way with regular check-ins and additional resources.
“You may not know this, but you saved my life,” he said. “It can be so hard to find treatment, and it’s cool to know that organizations like this support us.”
Kyle’s physical and mental health needs still challenge him on a daily basis. Now though, with dedicated support along the way, he’s regained his hope and purpose. With one Google search and a phone call, Kyle found his path to a bright future and a partner he can lean on for the journey.
My story with Stop Soldier Suicide began after I was with the Vet Center for seven years. I had searched for alternative methods because I was not getting better at the Vet Center. My search lasted about one day, that's when Ann with Stop Soldier Suicide contacted me. Right away I knew I had found the right person. She asked questions about me and family.
Not long after, she gave me contacts to find a good fit for my concerns and problems. She is an amazing woman! She found the perfect organization. Had Ann not called me I believe bad things would have happened. Ann and Stop Soldier Suicide saved my life! I would and will recommend Stop Soldier Suicide to any veteran that needs genuine help, by far the best. Ann always keeps in touch. She is awesome. Thank you for letting me tell my story.
I am writing to express my heartfelt gratitude for your organization. To begin, I am a combat veteran (Somalia). I have had fairly moderate symptoms of PTSD from combat experiences. I have had psychiatrists give me drug stores of medications. I have had social workers stick me in group therapies and then never allow me to speak of my traumas. I have even had a counselor in a one-on-one therapy session abruptly take his garbage to the curb for 10 minutes in the middle of a session - I was less important to him than actual garbage. This has caused me to feel isolated and become despondent... up to the very edge of suicide.
Thankfully, through a chance call, I found Stop Soldier Suicide. The organization was able to find me quality care professionals and has given me case management assistance that has led to some of the best care of my life. I cannot thank you enough for what you have done for me and for the betterment that your services have meant for not only myself, but my marriage, my family, and my friends. I now understand what care should be like and that I am not alone. I have no other point today other than to express my appreciation for what you have done for me and for what an amazing organization you represent.
I am Kevin's wife, Cheryl. You have been his wellness coordinator with Stop Soldier Suicide for the past several months and I just wanted to reach out and give you a heartfelt “THANK YOU” personally from me. Kevin has struggled with anxiety and PTSD for many years (I have been with him for nearly 25 years) and he has not had any help from the VA in all of that time.
Many times he has wanted to give up, but his determination doesn’t let him (one thing I love about him). It really hasn’t been until he started seeing the counselor you found and getting EMDR treatments that we are finally feeling hopeful. He still has a long way to go in healing, but we feel that our counselor is a good fit for both of us. Being able to see her separately and as a couple is ideal. I thank you and your organization for finding her and arranging for paid visits for us. We would not be able to afford this out of pocket and manage Kevin’s PTSD as he needs. This is the first time we have felt like someone is actually helping us. It is also so great that you check in with him regularly and advocate for his care. I am extremely grateful for what you do!
In the summer of 2019, I went through some serious hardships. I was totally stressed out from losing my home and my money was also depleted. While riding the city bus, I noticed a sign that indicated a service to stop suicide of veterans. I hadn't reached the point of suicide, but my stress levels and anxiety was pretty high. I decided to go ahead and call the number. I ended up speaking with a lady by the name of Sarah. She was extremely kind and empathetic to my situation. She patiently listened to my concerns and worries.
Upon completion of that conversation she assured me resources were readily available. She promised to have positive results of resources within 24-48hrs. As promised, she contacted me with a list of resources in my area. This was a Godsend because I actually didn't have any idea where to go, what to do. One particular resource from Sarah was able to pick up where she left off. I filled out the appropriate paperwork and was immediately placed in a hotel.
For 4 weeks I lived in the hotel while I secured lodging and employment. Sarah actually called and emailed me each week to check on me and my situation. She was so kind and concerned about me. At one point I was amazed that folks still cared this much about others. I was able to secure a job, and I eventually got approved for a nice apartment. If it wasn't for Sarah and her attention to the misfortune of veterans, I can't imagine what I'd be going through.
I've gotten myself back on track and even got a promotion at my job. Even after being housed and receiving new income, she remained in contact. I actually admire her for that part alone. It shows great care and professionalism to conduct follow ups and checkups. I've always felt compelled to tell folks about my experience and I'm proud to now share this awesome news with other veterans who may face a temporary hardship. Just know that there are real people and agencies who actually care.
Stop Soldier Suicide really came through for me. All the times I thought there was no way out, Sarah calmly proved otherwise with multiple resources. I'll never ever forget Sarah. She and Stop Soldier Suicide will be forever branded in my heart.