Dallas, TX – According to the USO, the nation’s leading charitable organization for active duty military families, military suicides happen four times more often than combat deaths. 30,177 military personnel have died from suicide in the past 20 years, compared to just 7,057 active duty deaths.
Research published at the National Institute of Mental Health corroborates this evidence. A 2017 study entitled “Lack of Access to Mental Health Services Contributing to the High Suicide Rates Among Veterans” concludes “…the shortcomings of our health care system in addressing the mental health needs for our returning veterans may lead to the high suicide rates.”
Similarly, first responders also have a highly elevated risk of suicide. A CDC blog post entitled “Suicides Among First Responders: A Call to Action” quotes research from SAMHSA: “Occupational stress in first responders is associated with increased risk of mental health issues…as well as suicidal behaviors such as suicidal ideation (thinking about or planning suicide) and attempts.”
The program Mustangs & Warhorses was recently established to help resolve these crises. Mustangs & Warhorses is a collaboration among Evanescent Mustang Rescue & Sanctuary, Divine Equine Therapeutic Riding Center (both 501c3 non-profits), and Mullen & Mullen Law Firm, a personal injury law firm in Dallas. The goal is to save veteran and first responder lives by helping them process their emotions and cope with trauma, anxiety, and PTSD.
Using equine facilitated psychotherapy (EFP), a modality scientifically proven to reduce symptoms of PTSD, veterans and first responders restore their confidence, trust, and emotional grounding. These skills help them avoid serious mental health issues and reduce their suicide risk.
Mullen & Mullen Law Firm has donated $10,000 for the Mustangs & Warhorses program. The firm also plans to continue financial support on an ongoing basis.
“Active military, veterans, and first responders represent the best of us. They are heroes that exhibit courage, selflessness, and steadfastness in serving our country and communities. Mullen & Mullen is honored and incredibly excited to sponsor such a worthwhile program right here in North Texas to help them heal,” said Managing Partner Shane Mullen.
Though helpful, this donation unfortunately doesn’t cover all veterans and first responders in need. At least 15 more are currently awaiting financial sponsorship. The full count however is much higher.
Individuals, businesses, and organizations interested in making a donation that helps veterans reduce post-war depression, trauma, PTSD, and suicide should visit the Mustangs & Warhorses Facebook page and click “Donate.”
About Mullen & Mullen Personal Injury Law Firm
Mullen & Mullen Law Firm has more than 89 years of combined experience winning maximum compensation for personal injury victims. Attorney Shane Mullen recently won one client $2,050,000. Attorney Joseph R. Morrison has helped several clients win more than $1 million for their injuries. Attorney Regis L. Mullen has more than 50 years of experience and used to be a litigator for insurance companies. He now uses that experience to win claims for personal injury victims.
About Evanescent Mustang Rescue & Sanctuary
Founded in 2015, Evanescent Mustang Rescue & Sanctuary was established to spread awareness about animal cruelty by educating the public about horse care and safety. The organization rescues and rehabilitates mustangs and burros who have been abused or who are in danger of being slaughtered. The program gives them a safe place to heal from trauma with the goal of adopting them into a permanent home. Nearly 1000 mustangs and burros have been saved. The organization has a goal of owning 100 or more acres to provide ample space for more burros and mustangs. Around 30 – 50 are ready for adoption at any given time.
About Divine Equine Therapeutic Riding Center
Since 2012, Divine Equine Therapeutic Riding Center has helped people (including veterans and first responders) with a wide variety of physical, developmental, and behavioral disabilities heal from their conditions. The core program offers 32 weeks of group horsemanship classes which improve physical and emotional well-being. The nonprofit organization does not accept government funding and relies solely on donations from the community to support its operations.
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Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Ahmedabad Local journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.