Mental Health


Mad Men(tal Health Awareness) and the Military Community

Together for Mental Health

This year, the National Mental Health Awareness Month theme for 2022 is “Together for Mental Health,” as announced by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

Thus, here at Mad Men Marketing, we wanted to work together with the greater military community in Jacksonville to raise awareness and advocate for military veterans, spouses, and dependents who may be struggling with their mental health.

In particular, throughout the month of May, Mad Men Marketing will display an alternating blinking light in its office window meant to stimulate bilateral eye movements — as is used in the revolutionary psychotherapy that is EMDR.

What is EMDR?

  • EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and is “a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences,” according to the EMDR Institute.
  • EMDR involves bilateral stimulation — most commonly horizontal eye movement — to activate both hemispheres of the brain.

During this process, patients systematically recall “target memories” that are sources of mental distress. Put simply, research indicates that active recall combined with bilateral movement helps the patient to process the traumatic target memories and reframe disturbing thoughts and/or emotions over time.

Research shows that EMDR helps individuals to heal from psychological trauma faster than other psychotherapy techniques. The time frame and outcomes, however, will vary from person to person.

The EMDR process should be completed with a trained and certified professional.

For each week this month, we will also focus on four different stages of the emotional recovery journey:

  1. Grief — Part One, Part Two
  2. Transition — Transition Through Grief
  3. Depression — Depression Looks Different for Everyone
  4. Hope — Finding Hope

We welcome and encourage all members of the community to come together for mental health by sharing their stories and support resources using the hashtag #MMMentalHealth

If you know a veteran who is struggling, we encourage you to call the Veterans Crisis Hotline at 800-273-8255.

If you know a non-veteran individual who is struggling, please consider contacting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

Fast Facts:

  1. Jacksonville’s Veteran Population Between 2015-2019: 78,558 veterans
    1. Source: U.S. Census Bureau
  2. In 2020, Jacksonville ranked within the top 20 cities for veterans to live in
    1. Source: Veterans United
  3. In 2019, among the average 17.2 number of veterans suicides per day was 17.2
    1. Source: 2021 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report
  4. In 2018, the Defense Department released its inaugural study on mental health and suicide rates in military spouses and dependents, reviewing rates for calendar year (CY) 2017. This further illustrates how new this field of study within the military community is.
    1. Source: Department of Defense 2018 Annual Suicide Report
  5. Overall, the military spouse rate of suicide in 2019 was 12.6 per 100,000 and the rate for dependents was 4.5 per 100,000
    1. Source: Department of Defense 2020 Annual Suicide Report (Reporting for CY 2019)

Other Resources:

  1. Family Guide: Concerned Significant Other Engagement Guide
  2. Helping your military children with traumatic grief
  3. Start the Conversation: Talking to a Veteran When You Are Concerned
  4. Postvention Toolkit for a Military Suicide Loss
  5. The Fire Watch
  6. NAMI Florida
  7. Hope for Healing Florida
  8. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs — Mental Health
  9. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
  10. Wounded Warrior Project