The Conversation About War and Veterans We Refuse to Have
The Iraq and Afghan Wars are some of the longest-running wars in the history of the United States, yet only 0.45% of the population has served without a draft taking place. In the news, we see record numbers of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and failings within the VA and are outraged, but the citizen/soldier divide continues to grow clearer. As psychology advances, we’re discovering many of our veterans aren’t necessarily suffering from PTSD, but Moral Injury (The emotional shame and psychological damage incurred when a soldier has to do things that violate their sense of right and wrong. Shooting a woman or child. Killing another human. Watching a friend die). It’s a conversation many don’t want to have because they feel no responsibility even though the men and women they voted for (or didn’t) have sent soldiers into moral quagmires. The end result is that veterans feel as though they can no longer relate to the society around them. Yet in every culture prior, our warriors have received purification rites and a rallying of community to help heal their wounds. The question is not, “what’s wrong with our soldiers,” but “what can we change to help bridge the gap?”
Why is Everyone Depressed These Days?
44% of college students are reported to be experiencing depression in recent studies, and the number continues to climb. Many feel a loss of purpose or that they “just can’t adult” while finding the responsibilities facing them daunting in the midst of an economic recession. In fact, one in three college students reports having felt so depressed that they had trouble functioning. Anxiety, loneliness, and narcissistic tendencies all seem to lend a hand in the research contributing to what many have labeled “Generation Me.” Why such an increase in depression? Why are more and more people finding it harder to get out of bed every day? How can we help those struggling?
Why Suicide Makes Sense (But How You Can Help End It)
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among Millenials. Every 12.3 minutes there is a suicide in the United States. 22 veterans take their lives every day. The misconception in our culture is to “leave it to the professionals” while those closest to us and even our neighbors suffer silently until it’s too late. To those suffering it “makes sense,” but no one wants to lose another loved one to suicide. What if the tools you needed to combat suicide were straightforward and practical and didn’t always require a counselor, but someone who cares? With hundreds of counseling episodes under our belts with people who planned to kill themselves within a few moments, we can equip you to where you’ll feel confident and informed.
Everything You Know About Addiction is Wrong
The way we view addiction is all wrong. We assume people fall into the wrong crowd or get peer pressured. But why are more and more new addictions are popping up every day? Research is suggesting Millenials can’t part with their phones. Excessive video gaming and pornography are now labeled as “arousal addictions.” Why does our society continually numb themselves over and over with a broad variety of coping mechanisms? What’s at the root? Why can’t we stop when we swear we will? Let us train you on what really causes addiction and how to break the chains once and for all.
One in six men are sexually assaulted and never report it. 80% of victims of sexual assault are under 30 years old. 98% of rapists will never spend a day in jail. More and more we’re hearing about “rape culture” in our society today. Each year we hand out thousands of books to victims of sexual assault at the events we attend. Why such an increase in our current culture? What can be done? We’ll help address these questions and give you tactics on how to help survivors or family members.
The Myth of Self Harm/Cutting
Myth: People who cut and self-injure are trying to get attention.
FACT: People who self-harm generally do so in secret. They aren’t trying to manipulate others or draw attention to themselves. In fact, fear and shame keep them stuck and the desire to seek help far too difficult. Many wear longs sleeves and pants to hide their shame. Everywhere around the U.S. parents want to know, “Why does my child cut?” Friends want to know “How can I help?” How can we reach those closest to us that are suffering silently?
The state of Utah unanimously declared pornography a public health hazard as of 2016. Social psychologists state that men don’t know the difference between “making love and doing porn.” The average age someone is exposed to pornography is now 11 years old. One in 3 visitors to pornographic websites are women. But perhaps the most shocking discovery is that pornography now neurologically rewires your brain. Learn the latest information and conversations to have with spouses, significant others, friends, and your children before we become Generation Porn.
How to Reach a Post-Christian World
87% of Millenials say Christians are judgmental. 85% say Christians are hypocritical. Only 18% even say it’s relevant to their life. Many believe science and Christianity don’t mix, and you have to check your brain at the door of the church. But what if we told you that we’re able to reach both audiences and help them consider subjects bigger than themselves using science, philosophy, and faith? What if we told you that we even have rockstars that support us and don’t mind our Christian message? Just what if we can help train your audience to love a generation like Jesus did? Then, you might just see a new generation invigorated by the thought of exploring faith.
The Latest Millenial Trends
There’s few things we understand better than the latest trends among Millenials. In fact, our largest demographic is 18-24 and typically in college. What are Millenials interested in? How is social media affecting the way they view life and the future? What can we expect from the coming generation? Are they really as selfish as media makes them appear? More importantly, you may be asking, how do I go about reaching them and speaking their language? With hundreds of conversations daily, we can help guide you to connect with a generation that is innovative and savvy and might not be as difficult to reach as you’d think.
Ben Sledge’s Key Accomplishments Include…
Ben Sledge is a wounded combat veteran with tours in Afghanistan and Iraq and is a recipient of the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his actions overseas. Upon returning home, he found himself battling Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a failed marriage, and believing he was better off dead. It wasn’t until his friend took him to a church that he found life, purpose, and hope. After 11 years in the military, he began working for a geopolitical intelligence firm where he was quickly promoted through the ranks and oversaw their Design Department. After he left his corporate job and started full-time with HeartSupport, he began to reach the very person he used to be: lost, alone, and struggling through addiction. He now sits on the Board of Directors at HeartSupport and runs the day-to-day operations of the org while speaking professionally around the country to churches, non-profits, the U.S. military, and businesses.
HeartSupport is an online community that provides emotional support to the music scene. We help people heal from their past, choose life over suicide, and freedom from addiction. To date we’ve reached thousands of Millenials struggling to find hope and purpose and created a legacy of life-transformation among them.