PTSD: a little help, please
March 3, 2007 3:57 PM   Subscribe

I tried doing this on my own, it's pretty easy stuff really; but, it's ripping my heart out to try to proceed. I need a little help finding a good PTSD-related fund to which we can send my son's memorial fund money.

Robert shot himself in the head last Thanksgiving night. It was only later that we learned he told someone about the "game" he was playing with his pistol a month or two before. It's so sad.

We're thinking about where to direct his memorial fund.

What Robert was doing with his pistol, despite his scoffing at PTSD, was a classic PTSD sort of thing to do.

I know the "Marlboro Man" and others are speaking out about PTSD. I start to search and I just kind of lose it.

If y'all would be kind enough to help us out, I'll send this thread to the rest of the family.

If anyone ever tells you they are putting a gun to their head for any reason, call a cop. Please.
posted by taosbat to Health & Fitness (22 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I am so sorry for your loss. I don't have an immediate answer to your question but I would like to point you to a site.

Support Loved Ones of Military Suicides is a group born out of the death of Joshua Omvig. Josh was a good friend of my husband. His death really spurred his entire family into fighting against PTSD. His memorial site is full of links on the subject and you might find good information there.
posted by justlisa at 4:22 PM on March 3, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks, but we want to target PTSD.

Robert was made a lifetime member of his local VFW after his first tour in Iraq. I can't recall that anyone ever mentioned the VFW offering any real support after his death.
posted by taosbat at 4:26 PM on March 3, 2007

I'm so very sorry, taosbat.

Gift From Within provides support for people with PTSD, those who are at risk, and the family/loved ones/caregivers of people with PTSD. They are a 501(c)(3) public charity, have been in operation since 1993, and appear to be highly respected by psychologists and others.
posted by katemonster at 4:28 PM on March 3, 2007 [2 favorites]

taosbat, i'm deeply sorry for your loss.

i don't know specific PTSD charities, but I just want to mention that I've found Charity Navigator and good at rating the efficiency rating of charities, making sure the most funds make it to the cause.
posted by sharkfu at 4:30 PM on March 3, 2007

Response by poster: I should have said, "Thanks, Burhanistan, but we want to target PTSD...

Thanks, justlisa.

I got pretty drunk doing this. It was hard.

I appreciate every response. I'll be back soon.
posted by taosbat at 4:33 PM on March 3, 2007

i'm sorry for your loss, taosbat :-(
posted by cgs at 4:36 PM on March 3, 2007

I am so sorry for your loss, taosbat.

My mom did her postdoc (psychology) with the Victims of Violence program at Cambridge Hospital. Her training was specifically in treating PTSD, so I know that is a focus of a lot of their services. I was 17 when she was working there, and I remember her talking about treating international refugees who had experienced violence at the hands of their governments, and just being totally blown away that people experienced the violence she described. I know they do very good work.
My mom did treatment for PTSD and also a lot of the nuts and bolts of helping people find other services: housing, etc. At the top right of the link is a "How to Give" Button
posted by paddingtonb at 4:41 PM on March 3, 2007 [1 favorite]

What about setting up a PTSD scholarship for someone planning to do a masters, PhD or other sort of formal study with an eye to PTSD research? Adding to the world's knowledge of PTSD would affect a wide base of people. Doctors, nurses, counsellors, psychologists, psychiatrists, government program developers and others would benefit from this information. That, in turn, would affect all of their patients and stakeholders.
posted by acoutu at 4:50 PM on March 3, 2007

posted by quin at 5:45 PM on March 3, 2007

I'm very sorry for your loss, taosbat.

You might consider Community Connections.
posted by owhydididoit at 5:45 PM on March 3, 2007

taosbat, I'm very sorry for your loss.

If you're interested, Soldier's Heart is "a term coined at the time of the Civil War to describe Post-traumatic Stress Disorder [and] a grass-roots healing project for at-risk veterans based on 'War and the Soul'.

I have not read War and the Soul, and so am not personally endorsing their methods or their charity, but I thought it might be something like what you're looking for. There is a donation link on their main page and they are apparently a 501(c)(3).
posted by psmith at 8:24 PM on March 3, 2007 [1 favorite]

There's a lot of info on this blog but I can't make sense of all the possibilities, so I emailed the author. I will let you know if she says anything. (She may be a Mefi user for all I know.)
posted by beatrice at 12:20 AM on March 4, 2007

I'm so sorry. This is the most horrible thing.
posted by serazin at 9:10 AM on March 4, 2007

Response by poster: Thank you all for your kindness. We would like to find a fund that helps active-duty combat veterans get help.

Soldiers who are having trouble like Robert have strong disincentives to seek help. If the person Robert told about his 'game' had told someone, the military would have been all over Robert. It probably would have ended his career while saving his life.
posted by taosbat at 1:05 PM on March 4, 2007

I'm terribly sorry to hear of your loss.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:46 PM on March 4, 2007

The VA has a ptsd site -

and a list of veterans service organizations sanctioned to work with veterans:

The DAV is probably my favorite of those and can help with most anything VA related.

There is also the national veterans foundation

And veterans and families

And Vietnam Vets against the war (I’m not purposefully excluding other ‘against the war’ organizations, these folks have a great deal of experiance)

All those can meet your criteria, you just have to figure out which one suits you best.

Also you should most definitely be looking at counseling for yourself and your family. You are alive. And getting drunk is the worst thing you can do. Oh, I’m not saying you don’t have the right. Been there myself. And indeed, sometimes you need to break that way. But having been on several sides of this myself I can say - you have to take care of the survivors. It doesn’t mean you love the fallen any less. Donating is great. But getting personally involved in an organization like this would greatly help, not only them, but yourself. It’s an excellent way to heal. You are not alone. Remember that.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:05 PM on March 5, 2007

I'm so sorry.
posted by Richard Daly at 4:33 PM on March 5, 2007

I'm so sorry.

A relative of mine works at the Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center, developing PTSD treatments. I know she works with veterans' groups and has funding from various sources.

I asked her what groups do the best work, and she recommended Veterans of American, formerly Vietnam Veterans of America. Their website is (They do include Iraq vets in their mission, although they emphasize the Vietnam vet on their website.)
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:19 AM on March 6, 2007 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thank you again. I'm working on the links you all posted...albeit slowly.

Thank you to each and all for your condolences. We're all so staggered, the whole family. Robert's death has been a terrible shock.
posted by taosbat at 6:16 PM on March 7, 2007

Response by poster: I've been working up to following up on this thread. I haven't got very far.

justlisa, I contacted Josh's Aunt Julie about the Yahoo group. Thank you. I don't know yet what will come of it but that's a start.
posted by taosbat at 2:45 PM on March 17, 2007

my condolences
posted by growabrain at 12:05 AM on April 22, 2007

You have my deepest sympathies. My dearest friend is a man who served in Vietnam and suffers from PTSD. Fortunately for him, he has found the help and support he needs to make it through, but it is never easy. I agree with the post by 'LobsterMitten' in that you should contact

Please take good care.
posted by Womanscientist at 9:38 PM on August 8, 2007

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