LOCAL NEWS

Local resource to help veterans’ mental health

Nov 11, 2022, 8:09 PM

WOODS CROSS, Utah — Each day, 17 veterans die by suicide, but there are resources out there to help. A Utah veteran created one for those who may be struggling with mental health.

Sgt. Josh Hansen is retired from the Army. While he was serving in Iraq, he was injured, and a traumatic brain injury sent him home in March of 2007.

After he returned home, he struggled.

“I was going down a really dark road with my mental health, having thoughts of suicide,” he said.

At the same time, his brother in uniform was also having a hard time.

That friend died by suicide in 2010 — a tragic loss that sparked the idea for the foundation.

“His death was a wakeup call to me. I needed to fight to stay alive, and for us veterans that took care of each other during the war, we needed that here at home, too,” Hansen said.

In 2014, Hansen created Continue Mission, a non-profit that brings veterans together through biking, hiking, pickleball — anything they can do outside.

“We started the organization on what helped me and that was getting out and exercising,” he said.

According to Veterans Affairs, veterans are at the highest risk of suicide in their first three months after leaving the military.

“There are several explanations for that — one, a sense of not belonging or disconnected, trying to find their identity,” said Jo Merrill, psychologist at Veteran Affairs Salt Lake.

Merrill added that if you know a veteran that is struggling, to use the acronym SAVE:

  • S — Signs of suicidal thinking should be recognized
  • A — Ask the most important question of all — “Are you suicidal?”
  • V — Validate the veteran’s experience
  • E — Encourage treatment and Expedite getting help
“This can help respond in a very kind and compassionate way,” she said.

According to Stop Soldier Suicide, veterans are at 57% higher risk of suicide than those who haven’t served — a number that highlights the crucial need for resources like Continue Mission.

“We have had veterans say to us, ‘This is why they are still here today,'” Hansen said. “I thought if we could just help one veteran save their life and get their life back, then we are doing good.”

If you are struggling, there are resources out there. The VA offers the veteran crisis line, with a live chat option.

Hansen encourages any veterans and their families to join Continue Mission. For more information, click here.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

A man already accused of aggravated human trafficking is now charged with trying to tamper with wit...
Logan Stefanich, KSL.com

2 men arrested for allegedly enticing minors online and by text

Two men were arrested Wednesday for allegedly enticing minors by internet or text, according to law enforcement.
12 hours ago
The Jeep is upside down in the left lane on the freeway....
Brooke Williams

Man killed in rollover crash on I-15 in Draper

A Jeep lost control and rolled over on the freeway.
12 hours ago
...
Ashley Moser

Local organization helps single parents put gifts under the Christmas tree

With prices on the rise on almost everything, providing Christmas gifts is proving difficult for many families, especially for single parent households. One Utah organization is jumping in to help.
1 day ago
(Roy City Police Department)...
Madison Swenson

Man in custody after crashing into Roy building, trying to get into another car

A man was taken into custody Friday after crashing into the back of a car, then into a building in Roy, before attempting to get into another car.
1 day ago
(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)...
Madison Swenson

First Presidency of the Church releases 2022 Christmas message

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has released a Christmas message.
1 day ago
...
Shara Park

West Valley business sees lots of in-person activity on Black Friday

A record 166.3 million people are expected to shop between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. While a lot of that business is done online, there is still a strong appetite for visiting locally owned stores.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Local resource to help veterans’ mental health