The suicide rate among U. S. military personnel continues to rise, alarmingly, across all branches of government service, the second leading cause of death in all branches. Since Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), the rate of military personnel taking their own lives has more than doubled in recent years. According to the Department of Defense, it passed the general population rate even though trends for a lower suicide rate among military personnel has, previously, been the norm. Additionally, suicide is the leading cause of death for first responders as of 2019.
The effects of suicide can be devastating to family and friends, as well as communities. PTS is the body’s ‘wiring’ of the human brain to react in dangerous and traumatic situations for protection of the organism and assurance of its survival. When returning home (vets) or when leaving work on the street (first responders), especially after multiple deployments or years on the job, the brain’s wiring can result in a hyper-overreaction to situations in the home environment as well…hyper-vigilance with all body alerts responding.
This is not abnormal in a war zone, or on some of our streets at home for first responders. When accompanied by full blown PTS symptoms, with body functions kicking in the fight or flight reaction…flashbacks, panic attacks and nightmares, anger…it can interfere with daily functioning at home, however. This hyper alertness that worked so well under former conditions is no longer helpful. The professionals and volunteers at Valkyrie can help…warriors helping warriors…first responders helping first responders. Just as our mind/bodies are wired for these reactions during danger and trauma, it is possible to re-wire the brain and tone reactions down, without changing who the warrior is, resulting in reintegration within the home environment.
While not an attempt to change the warrior mindset, the goal is to teach management of vigilance so they are not in a constant state of adrenaline exhaustion. Besides therapeutic modalities for managing stress, Valkyrie will offer job skills, training and recreation programs taught by rotating veterans, contractors, and those who have been through Valkyrie programs and want to give back. For protection of those involved, and to ensure that the participant attends of his/her own choosing, all will be vetted for authenticity of status before acceptance into programs.
At The Valkyrie Initiative, nutritional counseling will be available as well as information from our association with Dr. Daniel Amen’s Clinic for improved function of the brain/gut connection. When you feed the brain the nutrients it needs and the mind cutting edge techniques for quieting the noise and memories stored incorrectly as a result of trauma, then healing results. Come join us as we work toward this healing with the only oxygen delivery system in the state which works to deliver healing oxygen with a system which mimics the way the body expands its cardiovascular and respiratory systems during climbs of great heights, along with other cutting edge, research-based therapies.
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Our mission is to strengthen and empower veterans, first responders and their families by providing education, information, and programs that build on existing knowledge and skills and the acquisition of new knowledge and skills for increasing wellness and performance, all from a mind/body/spirit perspective, while facilitating connections with the business community, the public, and other nonprofits.
- Because the suicide rate among U.S. military personnel and veterans continues to rise, becoming the second leading cause of death across all branches, and because suicide is the leading cause of death for first responders as of 2019, the Valkyrie Initiative is committed to stemming the tide of these deaths, as well as increasing wellness and performance of those whose public service work in dangerous occupations results in issues common to these groups. Our goal is to help them tap into their resilience for managing these issues.
- Our research-based programs to strengthen identity, resilience and empower transition use professional, peer, and public support and education, jobs and life skills training, and stress reduction modalities, along with entertainment and creative education. The aim is to strengthen existing skills and build new skills using connections to community, businesses and other nonprofit services.
- Those who served in the military and those serving on the streets at home are uniquely qualified, with skills honed under the most adverse conditions, for mentor-ship and leadership of others toward resilient transition and success. Our programs support and build on these skills. Jobs and life skills are a priority for building a stable foundation after public service. Being a hub of resources for these necessities is our priority.
- Partnering with like-minded businesses, organizations, and the public, we aid the veteran/first responder communities, and their families, toward transition from public to private life, equipped with tools that support, not merely survival, but thriving success, in this next mission – Battlefield Home, using music, talk radio, entertainment and education – via Valkyrie Radio.