Tragedy taking a mental toll? You’re not alone

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(Source: http://bit.ly/1VSITiP License: http://bit.ly/1S0IVkT)

It’s a simple message for the families, friends, first responders and staff affected by the FedEx mass shooting.

You are not alone.

Eric Power is the founder and CEO of Veteran’s Disability Help. Eric spent ten years serving in the U.S. Navy, and was deployed into an active combat zone seven times in three and a half years. Eric recently talked about mental health and how those affected by the FedEx mass shooting can begin the healing process.

Eric believes the key to mental health awareness is within that very phrase.

“If you break down mental health awareness, and take away the word health, it’s mental awareness,” Eric said, “and I really think with mental awareness, you have to be aware of how your mind operates.”

“When I got out of the military, I wanted to stay in my dark room, keep the air conditioning on, and what helped break that was I became aware that this was becoming a habit and I needed to change and alter that.”

Eric says surrounding yourself with friends and family is always a great step forward in the healing process. But he believes it’s also important to share your feelings with people who’ve been through similar events.

“I remember when I went through my first mass casualty in 2005 where a couple people died in front of me, and of course the military had the standard mental health support,” Eric said, “but what really helped me get through was talking to my friends who went through the same thing, knowing that I wasn’t alone.”

One of the greatest resources Eric believes in is the National Suicide Hotline.

“And that’s not just there for suicide prevention, it’s there for mental health, like there are times where, you know, when I was transitioning out of the military in 2013-14, and it’s 2 in the morning, I was up and I didn’t have anyone to call and that was a resource to just express the emotions that I was going through.”

You can reach out to the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

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