PTSD Foundation/Camp Hope opens Arizona chapter

The PTSD Foundation of American is known for providing hope and healing for the unseen wounds of war. According to a VA study in 2015, 20.6 veterans a day with PTSD commit suicide nationwide. To combat this statistic, the PTSD Foundation became “boots on the ground” in Houston, Texas in 2009 to help military veterans afflicted by posttraumatic stress disorder. By 2012, Camp Hope was built to house, serve and protect veterans suffering with PTSD.
Today, the PTSD Foundation of America has 13 national chapters, 53 groups and 500-plus attendees weekly outside of the Houston area. On Oct. 30, the PTSD Foundation of America hosted the inaugural Warrior Group meeting in Phoenix to begin the Arizona chapter.  The meeting was held at the Blue Steel Security office, 2320 W. Peoria Ave. in Phoenix.
Andrina Shields, advocate and supporter of the PTSD Foundation and Camp Hope, knows all too well the impact of veteran suicide. Her son, Robert M. Graves, took his life on Memorial Day, 2017.
“By the time we realized the depth of Robbie’s illness, it was too late. We did our best to get him to Camp Hope, unfortunately we ran out of time. He slipped through the cracks and became one of 20 a day that takes their life,” Shields said.
Since her son’s untimely death, Shields has been a key component to bringing the PTSD Foundation to Phoenix.
Shields said, “The aftermath of Robbie’s death has been nothing short of devastating. It is heartbreaking to think that his 5-year-old son, Michael, will never know the great man that Robbie was. My hopes and goals for the future is to prevent another veteran suicide triggered by PTSD, and another family to feel pain of this magnitude, death by suicide changes everyone, and everything”.

1st Veterans Day Walk Up
In addition to the inaugural Warrior group meeting in Phoenix, Sinful Skin Tattoo & Piercing is hosting the 1st Veterans Day Walk Up to benefit the PTSD Foundation of America.  The event will take place from noon to 5 p.m. Nov. 11at 8110 W. Union Hills Drive, Suite 240, in Glendale.  Sinful Skin Tattoo & Piercing is sponsoring the inaugural event and providing pre-drawn patriotic and military tattoo flash designs available for a minimum donation of $50 up to $150. An auction will be held for artwork from tattoo artists around the Valley as well as all over the country.  Raffles and food trucks will also be featured.   
 
History and statistics
The PTSD Foundation of America opened Camp Hope in May 2012. Camp Hope is a six-month peer-to-peer program completely free to veterans to help them with their issues with combat-related PTSD and resulting conditions. The staff is comprised of alumni of the program, “who have been there and done that,” and can speak to other combat veterans through experience-based mentoring.
For additional information, log onto: PTSDUSA.ORG or call 832-912-4429. The veterans crisis line is 877-717-7873.

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Peoria Times

Peoria Times
7122 N. 59th Ave
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Ph: (623) 842-6000
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