Author Topic: "Send Up The Count" [Please read and send out the word]  (Read 77977 times)

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Offline Brihard

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Re: "Send Up The Count" [Please read and send out the word]
« Reply #75 on: February 13, 2014, 01:44:32 »
The response posted on SUTC to these new revelations:


Quote from: Send Up The Count
SUTC has become aware of the very serious allegations against WO Mercier in the weeks prior to his death. We do not comment or hold opinion on criminal justice matters. Every suicide in the military community is a tragedy, regardless of the circumstances that led to it.

Everyone in Canada has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty before the courts. We won't speculate on what truth if any there may be to the charges WO Mercier faced. We don't see this as relevant to SUTC's message or mission. It's simply way outside our arcs.

Summed up- this instance is pretty much a crap show. SUTC will stick with what we do. Whatever the underlying truth is of what happened leading up to this, what *is* certain is that many people are still affected by his death- friends and comrades of his who simply know the infantry warrant officer who they've served with. I know some of them, and so do many of you. People who counted themselves as his friends are still on this page. This is still an ugly shock to the military community. Continue to do what you do folks, and keep focused on helping out comrades.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline George Wallace

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Re: "Send Up The Count" [Please read and send out the word]
« Reply #76 on: February 25, 2014, 09:47:55 »
Found this on youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1QoyTmeAYw

Well worth a listen to.  There are other presentations on mental illness such as depression and loneliness that fall into the periphery of this as well.
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: "Send Up The Count" [Please read and send out the word]
« Reply #77 on: March 24, 2014, 16:05:14 »
Some information from Discovery about "why" people destroy themselves. While hardly a diagnostic guide, being aware of these factors in yourself or others might make the difference:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNgLrHGymYc
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Brihard

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Re: "Send Up The Count" [Please read and send out the word]
« Reply #78 on: March 24, 2014, 16:37:42 »
Some information from Discovery about "why" people destroy themselves. While hardly a diagnostic guide, being aware of these factors in yourself or others might make the difference:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNgLrHGymYc

Thanks, I've put that up on the page.

I'm also happy to report that we had a 'save' on one of our major bases this past weekend- someone noticed some red flags, and four guys who knew him were able to get the right people to the guy. He's being looked after.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline AirDet

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Re: "Send Up The Count" [Please read and send out the word]
« Reply #79 on: March 24, 2014, 17:08:35 »
Thanks, I've put that up on the page.

I'm also happy to report that we had a 'save' on one of our major bases this past weekend- someone noticed some red flags, and four guys who knew him were able to get the right people to the guy. He's being looked after.

 :cheers: Good on them! I hope they get a Bravo Zulu. It's hard to know when to step in sometimes.
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Offline George Wallace

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Re: "Send Up The Count" [Please read and send out the word]
« Reply #80 on: April 07, 2014, 09:43:49 »
DISCLAIMER: The opinions and arguments of George Wallace posted on this Site are solely those of George Wallace and not the opinion of Army.ca and are posted for information purposes only.

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Unless so stated, they are reflective of my opinion -- and my opinion only, a right that I enjoy along with every other Canadian citizen.

Offline Brihard

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Re: "Send Up The Count" [Please read and send out the word]
« Reply #81 on: April 07, 2014, 10:28:22 »
I like it. We've got the video up on the page, and I'm pushing it personally as well. I like the message that your career can continue after admitting to mental health issues.

One piece of strong criticism I've seen form many is that junior ranks aren't represented. I'm hoping that future video s(which they've hinted at) address that.

I also hope to see CFMAP pushed more.  Few troops I think realize that they have access to free and confidential, non-military psychological sessions that they can access with zero consequence. I think there's potentially very significant return on investment in advertising CFMAP more effectively.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline George Wallace

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Re: "Send Up The Count" [Please read and send out the word]
« Reply #82 on: April 19, 2014, 09:47:56 »
Here is a moving video by JP Cormier and a compilation of photos to accompany his song "HOMETOWN BATTLEFIELD" depicting the trials of Canadian soldiers and veterans. 
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Offline LRTDMO

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Re: "Send Up The Count" [Please read and send out the word]
« Reply #83 on: August 20, 2014, 22:53:12 »

has this patch been put into production yet and if not will it be ?

Offline George Wallace

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Re: "Send Up The Count" [Please read and send out the word]
« Reply #84 on: June 06, 2015, 12:17:01 »
Congratulations Brian.  Getting credit where credit is due:

Reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act.

Quote
'Send up the Count' offers mental health, crisis support
By Steph Crosier, Kingston Whig-Standard
Friday, June 5, 2015 8:23:31 EDT PM


Quote
Brian Harding, corporal at the time, during a convoy run to the remote Canadian outpost of Strong Point Pegasus, Kandahar Afghanistan on Friday February 6, 2009. Supplied Photo

Kelly Scales knows what she witnessed while deployed in Afghanistan will stay with her forever. She hopes the memories will fade, and the nightmares will dissipate, but, in the meantime, Scales has her faithful chihuahua, Penelope, to care for her and the Facebook group "Send up the Count" to support her.

Scales was a clerk in the Canadian Forces for 19 years before she was medically released for post-traumatic stress disorder and neck injuries in 2011. Sitting in the shade of her back deck Thursday, with Penelope on her lap to calm her nerves, the 42-year-old from Kingston told the Whig-Standard she joined the Forces' reserves at 19 in April 1992.

"I was still in high school when I joined," Scales said. "It was always something I wanted to do. I don't know why -- no one in my family was in the military."

As a clerk, Scales was deployed to Bosnia, Canadian Forces Station Alert, and completed two tours in Afghanistan. During the latter, Scales witnessed situations that remain difficult to talk about even to this day.

"I saw some things ...," Scales said. "Came into some dangerous situations."

She said the PTSD started during her first tour to Afghanistan, but during her time there she was too busy to focus on it. Finishing her second tour to Afghanistan in 2005, Scales returned to Canadian Forces Base Petawawa, where she was posted at the time. Getting into a routine, vicious symptoms of her PTSD emerged. Seeking help, Scales went to the base psychologist for treatment.

"You have to be ready; I don't think I really was at that time," Scales said. "At that time, it was just talk therapy. They gave me a lot of tips and hints. Got me into guided imagery, muscle relaxation, things like that.

"The breathing exercises, that helped when anxiety attacks started to come on."

Eventually, Scales was posted back home to Kingston, but she wasn't the same. Though the exercises and talking helped, she had changed as a person and as a leader in her unit.

"I started to get really anxious again, and I started telling people off, jacking people up," Scales said. "Never for no reason. If someone was rude to one of my clerks out into the hall they went.

"But that's not me, so it was at that point where I knew I had to take a step back and I went on sick leave."

In addition to her PTSD, Scales went on sick leave to undergo two spine surgeries following a training incident, and two surgeries on both her knees. The combination of mental and physical injuries eventually led to her medical release in 2011.

Since her release, Scales hasn't been able to work, but has volunteered with the Operational Stress Injury Social Support program helping others dealing with PTSD. Though she had to stop voluteering with the program for personal reasons, she soon discovered the Facebook group "Send up the Count."

"I think somebody added me right after it first started, and I thought it was fantastic," Scales said. "Just the whole purpose because it. So I joined, and invited a whole bunch of other people."

Send up the Count, named after a patrol drill that ensures all troops are accounted for, was created in November 2013 by infantry reservist Brian Harding, Jordan Irvine and Dan McInnis, along with three other administrators. The men started the group after there were four Forces member suicides in a span of just a few months.

"The primary mission when it all started was let's stop dudes from killing themselves," Harding said from the Yukon. "The idea was, hey, once in a while you call old buddies you used to serve with and say, 'Hey, how are you doing? No really, how are you doing?'"

Harding started his military career in Kingston as an infantry reservist in the Princess of Wales' Own Regiment in February 2004. He studied criminology and criminal justice at the University of Ottawa, taking a hiatus in 2007 to complete workup training in preparation to deploy to Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 2008. Completing a six-month tour in convoy escorting and base security, Harding was promoted to master corporal. He graduated from Ottawa in 2011, worked full time at his regiment and was promoted to sergeant in August 2011 as an operations and training NCO.

Harding, now a police officer, said that though there is a bevy of civilian and military resources to help with mental illness, there are still people falling through the cracks, not asking for help.

"There are some things where anyone can help, and well, we're anybody, let's see what we can do," Harding said.

Currently there are 9,510 members in the group that is closed to only serving military members, veterans and immediate family of those serving or who have served. Heavily supervised to avoid conflict, the group features posts as raw as: "Some one give me a call," followed by a phone number.

"We've had people post what appeared to have been a last message suicide note," Harding said. "We've had a few instances where as a result of the members of the group getting in touch with each other, within minutes we've had people identify a problem, start contacting each other and (it) has resulted in several occasions (of) police and paramedics locating somebody in time before they ended their own life."

Harding said those posts only come every few months, but because there are so many people from across all time zones in Canada, someone is almost always online to help.

"We can reach people anywhere at any time of day. It's awesome," Harding said. "It's so friggin' easy and fast because it's on Facebook."

The only aspect of the group that leads to hesitation is that it is composed of military members of all ranks, up and down the chain of command.

"Most people get it," Harding said. "In the infrequent instances where people say something that might be problematic, usually people are cognizant that; OK this person is having trouble, they don't need to be hammered on, they need to be helped."

In addition to connecting "brothers and sisters" in need, the group lists numerous formal resources such as mental health and veterans crisis lines. The group also introduces members to additional informal groups, including the 33 CBG (Canadian Brigade Group) Wellness Group.

Started by David Munroe in the fall of 2014, the group also brings serving members, veterans and also police officers, EMS, RCMP and firefighters together for peer support.

Munroe joined the Armoured Corp. in 1984. During his career, he deployed to Cyprus, Cambodia, and twice to Bosnia. Munroe retired as a sergeant in 2007, became a part-time reservist, and is now the Ontario Regiment's regimental sergeant-major in Oshawa. During the day, Munroe works as a logistics co-ordinator for the Canada Training Group.

Munroe saw that 31 and 32 brigades had wellness groups already, and since 33 brigade covers most of Ontario, he thought it was important to start. With more than 400 members, the group is growing. The conversation on the group is good, but Munroe has also provided his phone number so members can contact him directly.

"We've had a few instances where we've had to react and make sure this guy, or whoever, wasn't going to hurt themselves. We call the police and get them to a hospital and get them looked at, and go from there," Munroe said. "Sometimes they just need someone to talk to."

Munroe recalls a member in CFB Petawawa who asked Munroe to call his friend. Calling him up from Pickering, the person in Petawawa said they'd been drinking and had guns. Staying on the line, Munroe contacted the Military Police and the Ontario Provincial Police to get help to the person as quickly as possible.

"We don't do this kind of work because we want recognition," Munroe said. "We do it because it is the right thing to do, helping other soldiers."

When it is too late and Munroe hears of a soldier or veteran committing suicide, he admits he cries.

"Especially if I know them, or have served with people who knew them," Munroe said. "It really hits home, and I ask: 'what else could we have done?' Then you come to the realization that you've done everything you could. It's up to that person to want to make the commitment to either get better or end it.

"There's only so much you can do, and once you realize that ... the pain doesn't go away, but it becomes less, knowing you've done everything you can."

Munroe said the perspective of mental health in the military has changed a lot for the better.

"Back in the dark days, the dinosaur days, whatever you want to call it, you were sick, lame and lazy," Munroe said. "Now we encourage our soldiers: you know you get hurt, you get help.

"Like I tell my guys, a broken brain and a broken leg are the same thing, they can be fixed. You break you leg, it's never going to be as strong as before you broke it. You break your brain, you get PTSD or an operational stress injury, it can be fixed, but you're not going to be the same."

steph.crosier@sunmedia.ca

Twitter.com/StephattheWhig





More on LINK.
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Offline Brihard

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Re: "Send Up The Count" [Please read and send out the word]
« Reply #85 on: June 06, 2015, 15:09:26 »
Thanks George, but I'm getting too much of it. I work with a good team, and the membership of the group is amazing in the instant compassion they show for people who need help. Our work has also been made far easier as we've become better integrated with the regional Veteran Well Being Networks and other service providers. b
Basically, the collective efforts of everyone make it easy to look impressive as an individual in a leadership role, but I do no more than my own share of the heavy lifting. It's the people spending hours on the phone with a hurting buddy, or driving across town to check on a friend or stranger who make it what it is.

It HAS been hugely rewarding to see people present with a problem, get help, and begin to come through the other side. The lives saved or improved make it all well worth it.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline George Wallace

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Re: "Send Up The Count" [Please read and send out the word]
« Reply #86 on: June 06, 2015, 15:33:17 »
That being said, Brian, it was you who got the whole ball rolling and found the right mix to make it grow to what it is. 
DISCLAIMER: The opinions and arguments of George Wallace posted on this Site are solely those of George Wallace and not the opinion of Army.ca and are posted for information purposes only.

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Offline Dimsum

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Re: "Send Up The Count" [Please read and send out the word]
« Reply #87 on: June 06, 2015, 20:11:53 »
Taken from one of my favourite quotes, and very apt in this case, from the Talmud:

"And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world."
Philip II of Macedon to Spartans (346 BC):  "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city."

Reply:  "If."

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Re: "Send Up The Count" [Please read and send out the word]
« Reply #88 on: January 13, 2016, 16:22:52 »
I'm willing to shill for Bell Let's Talk, January 27th.

When we first sent up the count online, the response was immediate.  I'm not too proud to admit, old shipmates contacted me and were a great asset. IF we haven't started yet for 2016, check.
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Offline Kat Stevens

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Re: "Send Up The Count" [Please read and send out the word]
« Reply #89 on: February 03, 2016, 15:35:50 »
I put this on facebook, and thought it might fit here.  It's been a terrible few weeks on a personal friends loss basis, and needed to vent it.  If not helpful or relevant, please move/delete at your pleasure.

I'm compelled to write this. I'm no word master, but need to get this out. Nobody can know your struggle, and nobody else has your personal demons. Those are yours. But most of us have those little voices that whisper in our ear in the still of the night. The one that makes you question the point in carrying on, when all you really want to do is sleep and never wake. The voice that tells you how easy it would be and how much better off everyone would be without you around to complicate their lives. Well guess what? THAT VOICE LIES. Nobody is better off without you here. Nobody, you included. I've been there. I drove around for two years with a length of rope in the truck, waiting for the perfect tree to come along. I had the plan. Nothing fancy or showy. Just one day, gone. I had a good chat with that voice once I got four other lives dropped on my doorstep who depended on me. At last, a new mission. For the most part, that voice has been pretty quiet the last few years, but some nights, the sleep won't come, and there's a barely there whisper just behind me, inviting me home to the Dark Place. Some nights I go there, but it's a quick visit, thankfully, and I have no desire to live there any more. If you can't or won't find the strength to fight that voice any longer, call someone who will help. No solo missions, we learn that pretty early in our careers, everyone needs a fire-team partner, and this is the biggest firefight of your life, don't face it alone. You don't have to. Help is here, just suck it up and reach out, a hero ain't nothin' but a sandwich, and pride is just a bunch of lions that will chew you up eventually.
C/S Cat, out.
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“In peace there's nothing so becomes a man as modest stillness and humility; but when the blast of war blows in our ears, then imitate the action of the tiger; stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, disguise fair nature with hard-favor'd rage.”

 Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and start slitting throats

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Re: "Send Up The Count" [Please read and send out the word]
« Reply #90 on: February 03, 2016, 15:39:36 »
Great post Kat. You've summed up how a lot of people feel, but lack the words to get it out. :salute:
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