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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

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FERC rule to spark energy transmission building nationwide; Rudy Giuliani pleads not guilty to felony charges in AZ election interference case; new digital tool emerges to help MN students with FAFSA woes; WY governor to talk property tax shifts in a TeleTown Hall.

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Israel's Prime Minister calls the new ICC charges unfair. Trump's lawyers found more classified documents in Mar-a-Lago, months after an FBI's search. And a new report finds election deniers are advancing to the fall election.

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Americans are buying up rubber ducks ahead of Memorial Day, Nebraskans who want residential solar have a new lifeline, seven community colleges are working to provide students with a better experience, and Mississippi's "Big Muddy" gets restoration help.

CT mental-health pros seek ways to reduce veteran suicides

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Thursday, February 22, 2024   

Connecticut and U.S. mental health professionals are working to address suicide among military veterans.

Research shows a 95% increase in veteran suicides nationally between 2001 and 2020, peaking in 2018. In Connecticut, recent data is trending lower than previous years.

Experts say social isolation in the COVID pandemic was responsible for some of the nationwide increase.

Dr. Joshua Bullock, a psychologist for the Department of Veterans Affairs of Connecticut, said difficult individual experiences can take their toll as well.

"Oftentimes, PTSD can kind of lead to sometimes a sense of alienation from others, difficulty kind of feeling safe in the world," Bullock explained. "You can imagine, sort of living day-to-day feels unsafe if one is perceiving threats or danger."

Along with programs at area hospitals, Bullock pointed to psychosocial work as an important step in helping veterans adjust to life after deployment. The Department of Veterans Affairs has federal grants available for community-based suicide prevention efforts.

Anyone in crisis or having suicidal thoughts can call 988, then press '1' for the Veterans Crisis Line.

Challenges persist to accessing care, including a lack of mental health professionals in many areas, as well as personal and social attitudes about accepting this care.

Bullock acknowledged misconceptions about veterans' mental health linger, particularly that their lives are devoid of hope.

"What I've learned about veterans who are experiencing these challenges and struggles, from working with them for pretty much my entire career, is that they're amazingly resilient," Bullock emphasized. "Many of these veterans experience significant recovery from mental illness; live meaningful, valued lives."

Bullock noted peer specialists -- veterans who have received treatment -- are helping newcomers understand the importance of getting help when they need it.


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