After Paul returned from an 18 month long deployment in Iraq, he tried to return back to the life he had before Iraq. As he was trying to return back a sense of normalcy, Paul began to have flashbacks. These flashbacks made him realize that something was wrong. He was told by higher ranking NCO's in a mandatory briefing that people with PTSD are monsters waiting to blow up and kill people. So for fear of blowing up and killing people, Paul attempted to take his own life multiple times. He attempted to get help from the V.A. but was greeted with a two year waiting list and an abundance of drugs to help in the meantime. Eventually Paul returned his focus back to Christ instead of himself. This has given him a passion for helping others struggling with PTSD, depression, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and suicidal thoughts. Paul has completed a Masters in Biblical Counseling and is certified in Suicide Prevention. He is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC). If you are interested in having a conference on suicide, please contact Paul.
Did you know...
- Between 2006, to 2016, over 6000 veterans committed suicide every year.
- According to AARP, veterans are one and a half more likely to commit suicide than non veterans.
- According to AARP, suicide rates are higher among younger veterans ages 18 to 34 and lower among those ages 55 and older.
- According to Military Times, while suicide rates amongst the military as a whole have decreased slightly, suicide rates amongst younger veterans has increased dramatically.
- According to Ruderman Family Foundation, first responders are more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty. In 2017, at least 103 firefighters committed suicide. At least 140 police officers committed suicide in 2017. In contrast, 93 firefighters died in the line of duty and 129 police officers died in the line of duty. Much of this stems from constant death and destruction.
- According to the Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance, only 40% of firefighter suicides are reported which would mean that approximately 257 firefighters committed suicide in 2017. This is more than twice the number of firefighters that died in the line of duty.
- Only 3-5% of law enforcement agencies have suicide prevention training programs established.