New QPR Gatekeeper Instructors sponsored by VTVT

On December 17, 2019 Vet to Vet Tennessee conducted its 6th QPR Gatekeeper Suicide Prevention Instructor class. The class was hosted by Veteran/Military Friendly Lead Congregation Concord United Methodist Church. The nine (9) graduates included nurses from Covenant Health, counselors from Pellissippi State Community College and a Fire Chief from Lenoir City.

Assisting during the class was VTVT QPR Gatekeeper Instructors Sheryn and Don Davis. The majority of the students were referrals from Eastern TN TSPN Regional Director Sarah Walsh. This brings the total QPR Gatekeeper Instructors trained and funded by VTVT to 76. We are grateful to Concord UMC Pastor Larry Trotter for his support. Next QPR Gatekeeper Instructor class is scheduled for January 6, 2020 at the Monroe County School District.

Free Polk County Expungement Clinic

On November 23, 2019 this event was hosted by Judge Sandra Donaghy, Criminal Court 10th Judicial District (JD), Judge Brooklynn Townsend, Polk County General Sessions, Melissa Keith, Clerk of Courts, District Attorney Stephen D. Crump 10th JD, Public Defender Richard Hughes 10th JD, UT College of Law Legal Clinic, Vet to Vet Tennessee and First Baptist Church of Benton. Special guest and support were Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Sharon G. Lee and Monroe County General Sessions and Veterans Court Judge Dwaine Thomas. The community turnout was better than expected despite the inclement weather. This is the 3rd Expungement Clinic that UT College of Law and Vet to Vet Tennessee partnered together.

This event was made possible to a grant to UT College of Law from the TN Bar Association, 2 rural expungement clinics will take place in rural eastern TN. A second clinic (location not yet selected) in the spring 2020. Click here to view the event photos.

‘Worth It’ reminds veterans they’re not alone

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – “They protect us, and we need to do more to protect them; that’s the idea behind a local play to help veterans,” Said Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs

“There’s some real issues with our veterans across the country,” said Jacobs, “Not only is the suicide rate high among veterans but it’s also high among teenagers who are planning to go into the military, so you’ve got a double whammy there,” Jacobs added.

Preventing veteran suicides is Tonya Stoutt-Brown’s goal when she wrote the play, ‘Worth It.’

“It’s kind of awkward for our veterans when people say, ‘thank you for your service,’ sometimes. I mean, they appreciate it, but it’s a little awkward. They don’t know what to say back and so the story goes, there’s a veteran who started saying, ‘Your’re worth it.’ His response was we’re worth it and so that’s where the title of this show comes from,” said Stoutt-Brown, who is the director of the play.

The play is about a young veteran who returns home from the Middle East and he’s struggling with PTSD and suicidal thoughts.

There will only be one performance of the play on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. at Faith Promise North Campus, 5830 Haynes-Sterchi Road.

The event is free, but you will have the chance to donate money to ‘Vet to Vet Tennessee.’ That group helps veterans recover from mental health issues and substance abuse.

There’s also a way to donate online, and you can find the link here.

There are plenty of places where veterans can get help, like PTSD support groups, your local Veterans Affairs Office can help you find those. There is also a national veteran’s crisis line: 1-800-273-8255.