International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day

YESTERDAY was the  International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day. If a Veteran loved one has died by suicide, you are not alone.  

Hope after loss

VA offers support after suicide loss

Veterans have a significantly higher suicide rate than other adults in the U.S. This means Veterans are also more likely to have known someone who took their own life. Uniting for Suicide Postvention (USPV) helps make sense of a suicide loss. The program connects survivors with resources to help them work through powerful and unique emotions specific to this type of grief.


Browse nearly 500 questions and answers from the Veterans Experience Live Survivors Together Q&A 


Some survivors blame themselves for not noticing warning signs, even though such signs may not have been obvious. And the effects extend beyond close family members. Even first responders, who never personally knew the deceased person, can be affected emotionally by the suicide scene.

USPV provides postvention information and resources to assist survivors as they navigate their healing journey, both immediately after the loss and in the months and years that follow.

What is postvention, and who benefits from it?

Suicide prevention aims to avert incident, while postvention fosters healing afterward, for those touched by the loss. With tens of thousands of suicides every year in the U.S., coping with the aftermath is an unfortunate reality for more people than some might think. For every suicide, an estimated average of 135 people are affected.

How is suicide postvention part of prevention?

Experts consider exposure to suicide a risk factor for suicide. Survivors are at greater risk for substance use disorders and mental health issues than those who haven’t experienced such a loss. This includes including thoughts of suicide. Those exposed to suicide in the workplace are 3.5 times more likely than others to take their own lives. In a military unit with five or more suicide attempts in a year, the risk for another attempt is double that of units that had no attempts.

Grief after loss can be so intense that it prevents survivors from seeking help at a critical crossroad. But by helping survivors heal after a suicide, postvention reduces the risk of additional suicides in the deceased person’s circle. In that way, postvention healing is a vital component of prevention. Postvention is so important that the Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC) has established USPV as part of VA’s mission to develop, disseminate and implement a comprehensive prevention program.

To learn more about USPV at the Rocky Mountain MIRECC, visit https://www.mirecc.va.gov/visn19/postvention/.


RESOURCES

If you know someone grieving after a suicide loss, you may wish to read about ways you can help and talk to them. To learn about mental health support for Veterans, visit mentalhealth.va.gov.

  • If you or someone you know is in crisis, don’t hesitate to get help.
    • Call 9-1-1 immediately.
    • Contact the Veterans Crisis Line, which connects service members and Veterans in crisis, as well as their family members and friends, with qualified, caring VA responders. Call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1, text to 838255, or chat online at net/Chat.
    • Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text TALK to 741741.
  • The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) provides free, compassionate care and survivor support services for the families of America’s fallen military heroes. Services include peer-based emotional support, grief and trauma resources, grief seminars and retreats for adults, Good Grief Camps for children, casework assistance, connections to community-based care, online and in-person support groups and a 24/7 resource and information helpline for all who have been profoundly affected by the death of a military loved one. For more information, visit taps.org or call the toll-free information helpline at 1-800-959-TAPS (8277).
  • See related story, Postvention is key to suicide prevention says surviving spouse, advocate

Saturday’s Military Devotional – Instructed

20 Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.
21 There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand. Proverbs 19:20-21

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT: 

If you can remember back to boot camp you have to remember getting off the bus and being SCREAMED at by some Drill Sergeant barking out instructions so fast you had no clue what they said or what to do. 

There was a method and reason to their madness that I did not understand until I had nearly finished Basic Training.  Basically we need to react under pressure under stress of combat and since shooting recruits would not be advisable (or legal 🙂 ) screaming like banshees is the next best thing. In order to insure a soldier does no harm to themselves or others one must learn to act in differing situations of stress. 

Here in our text the preceding v.19 has the same implication, an unwise man (here one who can not control his emotions) must learn the consequences of those actions otherwise he will repeat the mistake and cause himself and or others harm.  


BREAKDOWN:

20 Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end. –  NO ONE, likes to be yelled at, told they are wrong, continually corrected.  Yet the bible is clear, God loves to “correct” that is “Instruct” his chosen and as Proverbs 12:1 says those who oppose God’s loving instruction are “Stupid.”

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Bible comments on this Those that would be wise in their latter end, must be taught and ruled when young.

21 There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand. –  What is it man longs for; wealth, fame, power?  All these things are the focus of a corrupt heart. Man can plan, scheme and conive all he wishes but to what end? God will always have the final say Psalm 33:10.  


APPLICATION: 

Just as recruits must be taught the ways of soldiering so too those who enter into God’s Army need learn His ways in order to fight the good fight. We cannot be afraid of being continual instruction, being rebuked and getting wise counsel. 

The Book of Psalms 1:1-6 begins with such an exhortation:

Blessed is the man[a]
    who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
    nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law[b] of the Lord,
    and on his law he meditates day and night. 


Today’s Questions:

 

Say What?

Observation: What did I read? What struck you as most meaningful?

So What?

Interpretation: What does it mean? Overall and the most meaningful? Did it change your view on INSTRUCTION

Now What?

Application: How does it apply to me?

Then What?

Implementation: What do I do? How can I start living it out today?

Time to get Your RED On

Come on you know what time it is, it is RED Friday

WEAR RED, EVERY FRIDAY, UNTIL EVERYONE IS HOME AND ACCOUNTED FOR

RED – Remember Everyone Deployed

NEVER FORGET 

 

Devotional Thought for Today 9/11/20

Today is the 19th anniversary of the four coordinated terrorist attacks on America on this date September 11, 2001.  It is a time to reflect and Never Forget. While looking back we may say many mistakes were made in fighting this War, one can not deny we were at War. 

September 11 attacks - Wikipedia


As “Christians” if you are a doer and not just a Couch Potato Christian, then you know you too will be subject to attacks for we are at War daily.  

Logos.com

AMP and RVR 1960

King David writes this psalm appealing to God in a time of affliction. Through it all he counts not on friends or self-help books, but God and God alone I trust [confidently] in You and Your greatness, O Lord!

Where are you placing you trust in these trouble times today? As Pastor Gary with Mission M25 has repeated the past few nights is it are you thinking and acting vertical?  

 

Saturday’s Military Devotional – FEAR

Isaiah 43:1 Fear Not I Have Redeemed You (brown)

CSB and RVR 1960 


CONTEXT:

Fear strikes everyone, those who deny it are either LIARS or so full of themselves they are just plain to STUPID to recognize the truth. 

Today many in America and around the world are “afraid” of the COVID-19 virus. While there was at the beginning reason for concern, I would argue the Biblically fear should not have been and certainly should not continue trouble the hearts and minds of majority of people. 

The following is from a good friend LP, Jr. it’s point is simple we have been force fed FEAR via the media over the past 20 years and the results have always been the same. 

Even with lists like this, I would argue that the following personnel have more to “fear” daily that most Americans do in a lifetime:

Members of the Armed Forces

Law Enforcement 

Fire Fighters

EMT’s

Infectious Disease Health Care Workers 

Yet the daily doom and gloom of today’s news and the hardships of these occupations is still no reason to let fear control your life. 

Isaiah begins Chapter 43 with one of the Bibles famous, Now this… rendered But now… in the KJV and many others. This signifies that all that proceeded, so let us look back at the end of Chapter 42 for a moment. The God; through Isaiah in short says Israel you have been deaf dumb and blind to all I have done for you. Is there not any among you (a remnant) who hears? Beware the (Fear) wrath of God. 


BREAKDOWN:

But now – Forgetting the past, this small phrase which connects us to the previous Chapter also delineates the break in God’s wrath and the renewal of His Grace and Mercy 

thus saith the Lord –  So there can be no doubt whom is speaking Isaiah uses a much used and common biblical phrase

that created thee, O Jacob, – God reminds the Jewish peoples that He alone is the Creator King

and he that formed thee, O Israel, – I am convinced (like many others) that this is a reference to Gentiles

Fear not: – What is there to FEAR? God’s wrath, for their (Jewish Nations) constant disobedience. True Fear is not whatever harm can come to this temporal body but whatever punishment could befall it in eternity. Matthew 10:27-29

for I have redeemed thee, –  First God gave them the reason, He formed them, now the promise He has redeemed thee (them) from the fear of eternal punishment. No matter the circumstance, (Jerusalem being destroyed, COVID-19, War Zone, Riots) Christ has won the victory and is the antidote for Fear. 

I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. –  John Gill comments on this as follows: 

I have called thee by thy name; with an effectual calling, which is of particular persons, and those by name, even the same that are redeemed by Christ; for whom he has redeemed by his precious blood, they are called by the grace of God to special blessings of grace, with a high, holy, and heavenly calling; and have no reason to fear anything, since they are the chosen of God; have a right to all spiritual blessings; all things work together for their good; they shall persevere to the end, and at last be brought to glory, to which they are called:

thou art mine; such as are redeemed by Christ, and called by his grace, they are his Father’s gift, and his own purchase; they voluntarily give up themselves to him, under the influence of his Spirit and grace; they are his by profession and possession; they are his portion, people, sheep, and spouse; and his interest in them, and theirs in him, serve to prevent fear; such need not fear wanting anything, nor any enemy, nor perishing, or miscarrying of heaven and happiness, to which fears they are subject.


APPLICATION:

In the military during the chaos of combat operation there are usually three kinds of responses; 

FEARFUL here we have the person who just can not handle the complete and utter chaos and carnage that happens. Whether its the noise, the swiftness of operations, the shooting something triggers them to shut down. 

RAMBUL You do do not see a lot of these folks, but every once in a while some huckster gets all worked up on their first operation and thinks they are Rambo, the result is not usually healthy.  

HELPFUL This is g the soldier that lets their training kick in, follows orders and gets the job done. Are the scared, yeah, combat is no joke, but they are not going to let their battle buddies down. 

We have a choice, we can let FEAR paralyze us. We can let it play games with our minds and convince ourselves that we have much to fear when the only true fear is our eternal state. Can you identify your fears? If so what is you chief fear? Do you know where you will spend eternity?  Isaiah 41:10 says: 

Do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you; I will help you;
I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand.

What is there to fear when God has us in His palm?  


Today’s Questions:

Say What?

Observation: What did I read? What struck you as most meaningful?

So What?

Interpretation: What does it mean? Overall and the most meaningful? Did it change your view on FEAR

Now What?

Application: How does it apply to me?

Then What?

Implementation: What do I do? How can I start living it out today?

 

Suicide Prevention & Awareness Training Video

September is National #SuicidePreventionMonth. It’s vital for anyone struggling to have the resources and support they need. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the #SuicidePrevention Lifeline for confidential help at 1-800-273-8255. ☎️ #BeThere

Image may contain: text that says 'NATIONAL SUKIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE 1-800-273-TALK(8255) suicidepreventionlifeline.org'


Here is one of the best training tools I have ever seen produced by the VA. It was done right here in my hometown of Jackson, MS and although the references are mainly for those on Active and Reserve duty; it can easily be applied to ALL VETERANS and those Chaplains Serving them. 

 

Mississippi Veterans Affairs has partnered with the Mississippi Air and Army National Guard, the United States Navy, and the G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery VA Medical Center to provide virtual training for local clergy along with awareness tips for the general public, in hopes of reducing the suicide rate of the heroes that have served our state and country.
Stop Soldier Suicide | Campaigns - Giveffect, Inc.

Saturday’s Military Devotional – Strongholds

Why Did Castles Have Moats? | Wonderopolis

 

Psalm 9:9

AMP and RVR 1960

 


CONTEXT:

Whenever I think of a stronghold, the image of a medieval castle seems to pop up. These fortresses were designed to withstand long sieges by an enemy while providing protection for King or Nobleman’s and troops, as well as refuge for the neighboring villagers. 

The structures were intentionally built with many features to be as defensible and impenetrable as possible. With thick walls, narrow windows and firing slits, tall towers and even moats they were designed to withstand months (3-6) long sieges. 

Of course as technology evolved the defensibly of these structures became less and less for their original intent. However one can never underestimate, even in the modern battlefield, the need for a good Stronghold that provides Refuge from incoming enemy attack.  


BREAKDOWN:  

The Lord also will be a refuge –  The Hebrew word translated by the KJV and many others as refuge is Misgab, mis-gawb’,  It has the sense of a secure (high) place, retreat, refuge, or Stronghold. 

Note the object of the Stronghold is God Himself. All other strongholds will eventually crumble at the hands of technology or man’s own unregenerate heart. Only God Almighty can provide that impenetrable Stronghold

for the oppressed, – Whom does God provide this Stronghold for? The oppressed, that is the weak, the lowly, those without self and power.  The high and mighty, arrogant and egotistical need not apply. 

a refuge in times of trouble. – When evil surrounds God’s children, He is there to provide that Refuge from incoming enemy fire. Whether is be the fiery darts of Satan or the raging insults, injustices or persecutions from our neighbors; God provides the only true impenetrable Stronghold.


APPLICATION: 

Everyone builds Forts? Since I was a little kid my friends and I were always finding a way to build a “Fort” in the nearby woods, or empty lot. It was our Stronghold and we would defend it against any dragoon or girl that happened upon it. 

In the Army the strongholds were sometimes as simple as a foxhole and many times much more elaborate as FOB’s (Forward Operating Bases). The principle was the same, build something defensible and maintain the defense. 

For Christians the same applies. Sometimes life just plain sucks. Even for true Christians, we will go through periods of turmoil and turbulence that can be very unsettling. That is why God tells us we do not need to build our own StrongholdYou see He already prepared one for us. All we need to do is enter into that covenant that gains us entry into the only true impenetrable Stronghold. 

 


Today’s Questions:

Say What?

Observation: What did I read? What struck you as most meaningful?

So What?

Interpretation: What does it mean? Overall and the most meaningful? Did it change your view on Strongholds

Now What?

Application: How does it apply to me?

Then What?

Implementation: What do I do? How can I start living it out today?

Saturday’s Military Devotional – Following Orders

 

John 15:3-14 KJV - Now ye are clean through the word which I have ...

John 15:12-17

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT:

Military personnel on air, land or sea, worldwide since the inception of fighting forces are used to being given commands (orders). Commands are there to regulate the smooth operation of the overall and individual military units; from large armies down to the smallest squad.

The same holds true to God’s Soldiers. As exampled in our text Jesus made sure he left clear commands to His disciples concerning their relationship to one another. 


BREAKDOWN:

Ye are my friends, – “What a friend we have in Jesus…” , is often sung in church pews across the world but is it sung sincerely? Are we really friends with Jesus just because we said some short prayer, or walked down an isle?  Jesus says NO!!!!

if ye do – Jesus says His friendship, that is true sincere fellowship is based upon your actions. 

whatsoever I command you. – The action here that we have been commanded to take is simple v.12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.


APPLICATION:

First, I want to be clear this is not Works based anything. You will take action not because you must to gain something but because your entire being desire to do so. A true Christian is compelled to obedience because of His love for God and his desire to please God. This is not something natural man will do and is the mark of a true believer. 

Second, natural man HATES following orders/commands. When Adam the first man rejected God for all mankind it was put into mans seed this rebellion against authority. It is why recruit training is so difficult, they break us down to build us back up to be able to follow orders. The same is for those in Christ, we had to realize our brokenness in order to see our need for Christ and be ready to follow Him, to have Him as Lord (commander) of our lives. 

Lastly, God made it really simple when Jesus said all the commands of life can be boiled down into two Matthew 22:36-40, we are to love God and our neighbors. By this we can have true Joy in this world. 


Today’s Questions:

Say What?

Observation: What did I read? What struck you as most meaningful?

So What?

Interpretation: What does it mean? Overall and the most meaningful? Did it change your view on Following Orders? 

Now What?

Application: How does it apply to me?

Then What?

Implementation: What do I do? How can I start living it out today?