COLORADO SPRINGS — We're looking into concerns about the well-being of our veterans and military members as they cope with the Coronavirus pandemic. News5 worked to find out more about the impact and how we can help those who need it most.
People have been reaching out to our newsroom concerned about the senior class at the United States Air Force Academy after reportedly two cadets took their own lives over the last few days.
While the circumstances of their deaths are still under investigation, we do know even the strongest among us our future, current, and former military members may need help and encouragement during this Coronavirus crisis.
Crisis hotlines are seeing an uptick in calls, especially from our military veterans. Jason Redman is a retired U.S. Navy Seal who faced his own challenges after being hit by machine gun fire while taking on Al Qaeda fighters in 2007. Despite being shot twice in the arm and once in the face, Redman overcame adversity and wants veterans to know they have an important role to play in the fight against Coronavirus.
"We need you more right now than any other time because you actually have the overcome mindset and resiliency that's already built into you," said Redman. "You've learned how to deal with uncertainty on the battle field. This is no different. We're fighting an invisible enemy, but it's a fight that we can win. We need individuals that are positive. We need individuals to set the example."
Redman believes the uptick in anxiety for both military folks and civilians is because we often struggle with uncertainty and a lack of structure. He says to remember this isn't the end and he hopes to inspire people to keep moving forward.
"The most powerful thing you have when we are stuck on the X, when we think it's the end is you have a choice," said Redman. "You have a choice to keep driving forward, you have a choice to reach out to people, you have a choice to find something that moves the needle in a positive manner."
U.S. Air Force Academy officials say mental health professionals are currently helping cadets, faculty and staff during this difficult time.
We've also posted some resources here on our website to help anyone who is struggling with anxiety during this trying time:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Hotline - 1-800-273-8255
Pikes Peak Mental Health - (719) 635-7000
Suicide Prevention Partnership Pikes Peak Region - (719) 596 5433
Military Crisis Line and National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 1-800-273-8255 or VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat
Warriors First Hotline - 1-800-399-0560
Colorado Crisis Services - 1-844-493-TALK
Veteran Crisis Responder And Peer Mentoring Team - 1 800-661-6790
Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center - 1 800-772-7000