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Heroes to Heroes Provides Mental Health Support to Veterans, Tools to Reconnect to Faith

The 2022 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report indicated that in 2020, the average number of veteran suicides per day was 17. One nonprofit supporting the veteran community and doing so with a focus on faith, is the Heroes to Heroes Foundation.

Heroes to Heroes FoundationHeroes to Heroes noted that individuals who are connected to their faith are four times less likely to die by suicide than those who have no connection. Addressing moral injury – a psychological response that occurs in reaction to acting out or witnessing behaviors that go against an individual’s values and moral beliefs – has been identified as a significant factor in suicide risk among veterans who have experienced combat situations.

Through the creation of a research-backed peer-support program, the organization aims to assist participants in establishing – or reestablishing – their faith. Their 28-month curriculum is informed by research conducted by Dr. Joseph Currier, a foremost expert in moral injury, interim clinical director at Veterans Recovery Resources, and professor of psychology at the University of South Alabama.

In 2018, the nonprofit and Dr. Currier conducted a three-year study of the psychological and spiritual outcomes of program participants. Findings confirm that the organization offers a solution for veterans seeking reconnection, belonging and forgiveness, alleviating social and spiritual determinants of military-related moral injury, thereby reducing the risk of suicide in program participants. The research will be published in the Spring of 2023.

The curriculum includes a 10-day journey to Israel – a land regarded as holy by three major faiths – in which program participants visit holy sites to connect with their spiritual selves, no matter their religion.

Over 350 lives have been saved so far and another 500 veterans sit on the waiting list to participate in the program. Heroes to Heroes offers a lifeline to veterans who may feel alone in their experience, disconnected from their loved ones, or hopeless.

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