New center in Mesa opens to help veterans, first responders combat depression and PTSD

In honor of Memorial Day, the Survivors Of War Rehabilitation and Evolution Center has opened in Mesa to help veterans and first responders with post-traumatic stress disorder.

On average, 22 veterans commit suicide every day, and that number goes up on Memorial Day. The goal of the nonprofit Veterans of War is to change this.

"Today is about honoring the loss in combat and the war we face everyday to suicide," said Shanen Dunagan, CEO for Survivors of War.

In this new space, the nonprofit plans to help survivors of war combat depression, PTSD and suicide through their counseling services, weight training and jiujitsu programs - after all, these veterans say the fighting doesn't stop when they come home.

"More lives lost in one year to suicide than we have lost in the last 20 years of combat in the Middle East," said Army veteran Michael Miller.

Miller knows all too well the struggles of PTSD and how difficult the transition back to normal life can be.

"In the Army, everyone is one team, it's a brotherhood," Miller said. "Since I got out…the civilian world is different."

He found Survivors of War, adding that they have helped him through their counseling and jiujitsu program to get his feet back on the ground.

"The brotherhood, it just really helps me a lot," Millersaid.

The nonprofit says that is the goal: to make sure no veteran is left behind, especially when they get home.

The facility is also open for first responders, police officers and firefighters with PTSD and any other lasting effects from their work.

More on Survivors of War:

Survivors Of War Rehabilitation & Evolution Center: 456 N Vineyard Mesa, AZ 85201

If you or a loved one is feeling distressed, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The crisis center provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to civilians and veterans. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (1-888-628-9495 for Spanish), or text HOME to 741-741 (Crisis Text Line)

CLICK HERE for the warning signs and risk factors of suicide. Call 1-800-273-TALK for free and confidential emotional support.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (In Spanish/En Español)

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