Security Health Plan supports effort to reduce veteran suicide
For the Hub City Times
MARSHFIELD — According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, an average of 20 veterans dies each day by suicide. Prevention can be achieved through an interdisciplinary approach between the individual, family, and community. To help support efforts to combat this problem, Security Health Plan of Wisconsin, Inc., is investing in The Highground’s Veteran Retreat Weekend program being held July 12-14 for male veterans and Sept. 6-8 for female veterans in Willard.
The annual three-day retreat focuses on helping veterans of all ages, combat and non-combat, to work through post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), survivor’s guilt and other issues. The ultimate goal of the retreat is to reduce the participants’ mental stress and the threat of veteran suicide.
Retreat weekends provide veterans with tools to better their lives and in turn, better the communities they live in. Many activities are held throughout the weekend including workshops, therapy, art, outdoor activities, and meditation. The weekend promotes an atmosphere of camaraderie, peace, relaxation, and fun where veterans can learn ways to cope, heal, and achieve the quality of life and relationships they desire.
Skip Klabon, a former retreat participant, Vietnam veteran and Purple Heart recipient agrees. “We are in a safe environment and don’t have to explain ourselves. We share experiences and take care of each other with no stigma or judgment,” he said.
Veterans are introduced to many things to help them gain more peace and feelings of fulfillment. Many participants leave the retreat with a greater sense of community from newly-formed friendships.
“Security Health Plan and Marshfield Clinic Health System remain focused on helping individuals and communities reach their best health. Programs like this can make a measurable improvement on reducing and preventing suicide deaths and can improve their quality of life,” Marshfield Clinic Health System Assistant Director of Community Health Allison Machtan said.