In the U.S. almost two dozens veterans a day commit suicide. One woman has created a non-profit organization called Cover Me Veterans. Dr. Heidi Sigmund is the founder and wants to people realize, “I think there could be no greater work than to devote time and effort giving back to the people who sign up, volunteer or answer the call to serve all of us.”
Dr. Heidi Sigmund has been aiding veterans with PTSD for the past 12 years. “We talk about ‘suicidal ideation’ a lot because unfortunately when someone is struggling with PTSD that is something that can come up,” said Dr. Sigmund.
Dr. Sigmund is asking for veterans to separate themselves from their weapons.
“It’s kind of a conundrum because we know that most veterans that choose to end their lives do so using firearms, but we are also working with people who really value their firearms, it’s a firearm culture,” said Dr. Sigmund.
Michael Cain a member of the board of directors for Cover Me Veterans explains, “Often time it’s a sense of security; they feel comfortable with it because it was the one tool they had to defend themselves and they entrusted their lives to it.”
“There is a hesitation to seek mental health treatment because they are afraid of losing their firearm ownership privileges,” said Cain.
Dr. Sigmund often asks her clients to place their firearm next to a photo of a loved one or something they treasure the most whenever they start to have dangerous thoughts.
The foundation hopes that the veterans will stop and think ‘Hey, I have a lot to live for. These people need me or I can count on them.”
Dr. Sigmund also got together with GunSkins to create vinyl skins that would attach to veterans firearms. With the kit, the veteran can use a personal meaningful photo that would be printed to go on the gun. Once they choose a skin the entire kit is paid for by the foundation.
“It’s absolutely free. We refuse to ever let a veteran pay for this service,” said Dr. Sigmund.
Michael Cain also wants people to know that “You don’t have to be struggling to put this on your gun, people don’t have to be scared about it. It’s a way to support a veteran organization and you never know who around you is going to ask you about it and engage in that conversation. Open that discussion and start talking about issues that might be going on because you never know whose life you might save in doing so.”