Horticulture therapy is one type of recreation
therapy provided to clients in the SHARE Military Initiative at Shepherd
Center as part of a comprehensive treatment approach.
(NAPSI)—It’s a tragedy: Every day, 22 U.S. veterans take their
own lives—a needless loss of 8,000 service members a year.
Returning veterans may experience divorce, joblessness, homelessness and
The often-devastating effects of mild to moderate traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and post-traumatic stress (PTS), plus the loss of
their military community support, can cause a downward spiral.
Symptoms of mTBI include headaches and problems
with balance, sleep, vision and memory. Emotional signs include depression
and anxiety. But today’s treatment approaches and therapeutic
technologies offer hope for veterans feeling overwhelming physical and
emotional pain from these invisible wounds of war.
What You Can Do
1. Be observant about behavior
changes. For many veterans, the physical symptoms of mTBI
are not obvious. Be on the lookout for loss of interest in meaningful activities,
personality changes, social isolation and substance abuse.
2. Reach out and spend time
together. Let a veteran know he or she is not alone. Meet for coffee or
go for a walk. Listen and encourage them to seek help.
3. Tell veterans and their families
about helpful programs. Encourage caregivers, spouses and friends to seek
help on behalf of a veteran.
One outstanding option that’s transformed the lives of more than 550
veterans and their families is the SHARE Military Initiative at Shepherd
Center in Atlanta, Ga. This innovative program provides up to 12 weeks of
intensive rehabilitation, at no cost to the veteran, to treat mild to
moderate brain injury and psychological concerns of those who served in the
U.S. military since September 11, 2001. Treatment plans are personalized to
each veteran’s needs. The program is open to all post-9/11 veterans,
including those with other than honorable discharges.
Because of intensive and comprehensive therapy, rehabilitation and life
coaching, SHARE has become a model for centers nationwide. Experts in working
with veterans provide medical consultation, physical therapy, occupational
therapy, speech and cognitive therapy, recreation therapy, case management, neuropsychology, chaplaincy and counseling.
4. Volunteer or donate to
organizations battling the epidemic of veteran suicide.
5. Support fundraisers and events,
such as the Shepherd’s Men Run. Annually, a team of committed
volunteers runs seven days of half marathons in multiple states wearing
22-pound flak jackets—to increase awareness of treatment options and
suicide prevention for veterans. Shepherd’s Men have raised millions
for this heartfelt mission.
“Every day, 22 U.S. veterans take
their own lives—but everyone can lift a helping hand to save a life.
Tell veterans and their families about programs such as the donor-funded
SHARE Military Initiative at Shepherd Center in Atlanta. http://bit.ly/2PpGDji”
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