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I Was Ready To Punch A Wall By The 11th Image. I'm Telling *EVERYONE.*

I'm not surprised that the HUGE mental illness problem in the American military is hidden. It's a difficult topic to hear about, so it just doesn't get discussed. But it kills. Here are 13 ways to talk about this problem so it's not hidden any longer.

I Was Ready To Punch A Wall By The 11th Image. I'm Telling *EVERYONE.*

1. I've never thought so clearly about how many soldiers are dying OFF the battlefield.


2. That's a difference of over 230,000 troops. Can we sync our calculators, please?

3. I don't like this stat! Yet I want EVERYONE to know it.

4. Really makes you rethink the concept of "wounded."

5. Mental disorders coming in at #2.

6. That's 1 in 5 female vets.

7. PTSD, though it is a mental disorder, has some significant physical side effects. If this list doesn't make PTSD real, I don't know what could.

8. Think about these experiences. I think it's worth creating more ways to address their impact on human soldiers.

9. When I see how poorly diagnosed and treated PTSD is in the images above and then look at the image below, I can't help but think how important it is that we see to it that PTSD is better diagnosed and treated. It feels so obvious.

10. Wow. Not only does PTSD affect the soldier, but it hurts the soldier's family. I'm seeing all that "support the troops" imagery, and I'm concerned. Are we *really* supporting them?

11. Noooooooooooooooooo. In 2012, more troops died from suicide than in battle?! Seriously? Is there some reason that everyone in the world doesn't know this? *facepalm*

12. This could mean that more vets are getting help. It could also mean that more *need* help. It could also mean both of those things.

13. It's a start.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.