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Twenty-two veterans commit suicide per day, and the new documentary Thank You for Your Service aims to highlight the shocking statistic’s causes and potential solutions.
Tom Donahue’s doc follows four Iraq veterans as they attempt to transition back into normal civilian life. It highlights the flawed mental health policies in the U.S. military and offers a clear solution for some of these systemic issues: a behavioral health corps.
“It wasn’t just trauma; it was something more going on here,” says Camillo Bica, a U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam veteran, in The Hollywood Reporter’s exclusive clip from the film. It then explores moral injury, which has mental health care professionals asking: “How do you help people who come to your office when they’ve killed?”
Regarding Donald Trump’s comment that military suicides happen to people who “can’t handle it,” Donahue tells THR, “Donald Trump’s comment about U.S. service members taking their own lives draws attention to the mental health crisis that continues to plague our military heroes and their families. The way that returning service members receive mental health care is grossly inadequate, and unfortunately, we are all too familiar with the tragic consequences that result from this lack of care. The first step toward solving this crisis is to create a behavioral health corps — a single unified corps that adequately addresses and provides access to the urgent and critical mental health needs of our nation’s heroes. Mental health must be made a priority, on par with physical health, or this crisis will continue.”
Thank You for Your Service opens in Los Angeles theaters on Oct. 7 and New York City theaters on Oct. 28.
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