53ºF

Vets Prevail

CHICAGO, Ill. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – It’s among America’s most depressing statistic: every single day, 22 veterans commit suicide … fighting invisible enemies far away from battle lines. But, cellphones may become weapons to fight against depression and post-traumatic stress.

Fighting on the front lines in the Iraq war was bad enough for army veteran Dan Jabs.

Dan said, “We were getting constantly exposed to IEDs.”

But when Dan Jabs returned home, he found out the war, for him, had not ended.

“Panic attacks, insomnia, sleeplessness, restlessness,” Dan told Ivanhoe.

Navy veteran, Samantha Michelle Reeves, said, “You see some things that civilians don’t understand. And because of that, anxiety, constant fight or flight mode, you’re always tense.”

Samantha Michelle thought her constant nightmares were actually normal after coming home from operation Iraqi freedom.

She said, “I was also afraid to go ask for help because I thought people are going to look at me like I’m crazy.”

Thankfully, both vets eventually found “vets prevail.” It’s a free, anonymous online resource that connects them with other veterans for support. 

Samantha Michelle said, “Talk to peers. Because it’s been so helpful, I can’t even describe how helpful.”

Founder and CEO of Vets Prevail, Rich Gengler says a clinical trial already shows ‘Vets Prevail’ works as well as face-to-face sessions and at a fraction of the cost.

“There’s a lot of power in a model like this,” Gengler told Ivanhoe.  

Now, on the other side of the program, Dan Jabs knows that power.

He said, “I see these guys and gals who are having issues that I’ve been through before, and I recognize that you know what? You can get through this.”

Help right at your fingertips.

“Vets Prevail” is tailored to the needs of veterans, and vet peers are available 24 hours a day. For more information, or help on this free mental health program, log onto vetsprevail.org.

Contributors to this news report include: Jennifer Jefcoat, Field Producer; Brogan Morris, Assistant Producer; Brent Sucher, Videographer; and Tony Dastoli, Editor.