22 A Day Is Not Ok!
The Need -
In the last 15 years, 2.7 million members of the United States Military have been deployed to combat theatres of operations. https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/costs/human/veterans According to the Department of Veterans Affairs the
number of Veterans with PTSD varies by service era:
● Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF):
About 11-20 out of every 100 Veterans (or between 11-20%) who served in OIF or OEF have PTSD in a given year. ● Gulf War (Desert Storm):
About 12 out of every 100 Gulf War Veterans (or 12%) have PTSD in a given year. ● Vietnam War:
About 15 out of every 100 Vietnam Veterans (or 15%) were currently diagnosed with PTSD at the time of the most recent study in the late 1980s, the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study (NVVRS). It is estimated that about 30 out of every 100 (or 30%) of Vietnam Veterans have had PTSD in their lifetime.
Other factors in a combat situation can add more stress to an already stressful situation. This may contribute to PTSD and other mental health problems. 23 out of 100 women (or 23%) reported sexual assault when in the military.
● 55 out of 100 women (or 55%) and 38 out of 100 men (or 38%) have experienced sexual harassment when in the military. The Veteran Suicide Crisis
Most everyone is familiar with the “22 A Day” veteran suicide statistics based on an incomplete and inaccurate study conducted by the VA in 2012. This study was conducted on only 20 of the largest populated states ‘Veterans” and did not include Active Duty, National Guard and Reserve members who were also taking their own lives but were unrepresented in the VA study.
These facts are based on the agency’s own data. Personally, I believe these numbers to be much greater as not all veterans seek or receive care at VA facilities and many veterans’ suicides go unreported or misclassified as ‘accidents”
In fact, according to a more recent 2016 VA study, the number 22 was most represented by the age group of 45 years and older and concluded that the majority of these veterans taking their own lives were, in fact, those veterans of the Vietnam War Era.
So without intervention and immediate action for serving and meeting the needs of veterans in crisis one can only imagine what the “a-day” number will be when the current 2.7 million deployed service members reach that same age group?
Sacred Paws Service Dogs
is capable, willing and able to intervene plus meet the mental and physical needs of many disabled veterans, with evidence-based Canine Intervention and Desensitization therapies that are proven to be effective against physical and mental health traumas. ● Not all Service Dog organizations are capable or able to be effective with their training regime because the industry itself lacks solid standards, that was until Assistant Dog International (ADI) began implementing and setting the industry standards. ● Sacred Paws strictly adheres to ADI standards and is in the process of becoming certified as an agency. This process can take up to 5 years to reach the due diligence that ADI requires. Currently, there is only one agency based in the state of Connecticut that is ADI certified. Sacred Paws will strive to become the second. SPSD is actively taking the right steps necessary to complete this certification. https://assistancedogsinternational.org/ https://phys.org/news/2016-04-va-dogs-vets-ptsd.html II-Funding Goals: ● Receive funding from direct donors to help with initial non-profit start-up costs related to SPSD’s Mission Impact. ● First-year goals include generating fundraising to cover all costs related to the dog’s development and wellness needs. In addition, the funding will cover costs associated with training and support resources for the individuals served. ● $100,000 in the first year of operation is the goal and will be achieved through various forms of fundraising initiatives, in-kind donations, grants, and general direct donations