The HBO documentary “CRISIS HOTLINE: VETERANS PRESS 1” — nominated in the short documentary category for the 87th Oscar awards — is a powerful depiction of the crisis hotline responders and the veterans about to commit suicide whom the responders do all they can to save.
Here is an excerpt from the documentary synopsis on the HBO site:
Since 2001, more veterans have died by their own hand than in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, one veteran dies by suicide in America every 80 minutes. While only 1% of Americans has served in the military, former service members account for 20% of all suicides in the U.S.
Based in Canandaigua, NY and open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the Veterans Crisis Line receives more than 22,000 calls each month from veterans of all conflicts who are struggling or contemplating suicide due to the psychological wounds of war and the challenges of returning to civilian life.
The timely documentary CRISIS HOTLINE: VETERANS PRESS 1 spotlights the traumas endured by America’s veterans, as seen through the work of the hotline’s trained responders, who provide immediate intervention and support in hopes of saving the lives of service members.
(Particularly impressive is the five-hour four-person effort to trace a potential suicide who rang off almost immediately after calling and giving only his first name. Thanks to his cell phone number and help from the law enforcement section of Verizon and the persistence of the call center personnel, he was located at a base in Pearl Harbor and help sent to him in time.)
Sexual Assault in the Military:
Besides trauma caused from combat, another source of military trauma is sexual assault, a subject that is examined in the documentary “THE INVISIBLE WAR” (click here to see a trailer for this revealing documentary).
On February 12, 2015, the Washington Post carried the article by Emily Wax-Thibodeaux entitled “VA reaches out to sexual trauma survivors via Facebook”:
The Washington Post article begins:
The female veterans on the Women Veterans for Equality in our VA System Facebook page couldn’t believe what they saw.
But there it was.
A Department of Veterans Affairs military sexual trauma (MST) coordinator personally assigned to helping them, answering questions directly and guiding them through what many say is a emotionally harrowing and complicated financial benefits process. The Washington Post last month chronicled efforts, sometimes for decades, by this group to receive financial benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder caused by sexual trauma &dmash; ranging from harassment to rape — in the military.
And to read about my own proposed projects to help with PTSD click on www.SolomonsJustice.com
© 2015 Miller Mosaic LLC
Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller) is the author of fiction and nonfiction books/ebooks, including HOW TO SUCCEED IN HIGH SCHOOL AND PREP FOR COLLEGE and the romantic suspense spy thriller CIA FALL GUY, as well as newly written books not yet published. She can be reached at email@example.com