(Washington, D.C., Tuesday, May 8, 2018) - Since 1949, Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in May as an opportunity to bring about greater awareness of psychological health concerns and to promote increased access to care and treatment. For returning service members and veterans, early intervention for invisible wounds plays a critical role in successful care, recovery and reintegration.
Retired U.S. Army Major Ed Pulido served in Iraq where he was seriously injured by an improvised explosive device. He spent nearly eight months undergoing 17 surgeries. Eventually, after struggling with a severe infection in his left leg, Maj. Pulido and his family made the decision to amputate. During his time at the hospital, Maj. Pulido experienced depression and other psychological health concerns, and began to have thoughts of suicide. Maj. Pulido reached a turning point in his psychological recovery when he began to share his story and speak about his treatment.
Major Pulido experienced positive outcomes from seeking care, and encourages others to reach out for help, early and often.
WHILE SERVING IN IRAQ, I WAS WOUNDED BY AN I-E-D BLAST AND LOST MY LEFT LEG. DURING TREATMENT FOR MY PHYSICAL INJURY, WHICH INCLUDED SEVENTEEN SURGERIES OVER THE COURSE OF EIGHT MONTHS, I ALSO HAD TO COPE WITH INVISIBLE WOUNDS, LIKE P-T-S-D AND SUICIDAL THOUGHTS. IT WAS DIFFICULT AT FIRST, BUT WHEN I REACHED OUT FOR HELP AND ACCEPTED SUPPORT FROM OTHERS, THINGS STARTED TO IMPROVE. IT IS TRULY IMPORTANT THAT YOU HAVE A SUPPORT SYSTEM, SO THAT YOUR FRIENDS AND BATTLE BUDDIES CAN LOOK OUT FOR EACH OTHER. I ENCOURAGE OTHER WARRIORS TO TAKE THE FIRST STEP TODAY BY ACCESSING THE TOOLS AND RESOURCES AVAILABLE FROM THE REAL WARRIORS CAMPAIGN. REACHING OUT IS A SIGN OF STRENGTH.
If you or a loved one is coping with an invisible wound, resources are available, and treatment works. Visit realwarriors.net or call the Psychological Health Resource Center at 866-966-1020; the phone line is available 24/7 and is confidential.