I’m 34 years old French Canadian and since June 2018 with my wife and 11 years old son I’m living as Nomad around the world. The two main subjects I will talk about on this blog is nomad lifestyle and healing PTSD through sports.
The first part of my blog will be about nomad lifestyle. In June 2018 we have decided to sell everything we had to live our dream of traveling around the world while homeschooling our son. We wanted to do that for a long time and in June 2018 we did the big move. Since we left, we have visited more than a dozen different countries in 3 continents. Becoming nomads forced us to become more minimalist because we are living out of our backpacks since we left. We learned to be happy with the small quantity of material belonging we can carry in our backpacks.
The other thing I will talk about is my soldier background and my battle against PTSD. I served 10 years in the Royal 22 Regiment as an infantry soldier. In 2007-2008 I was deployed in Afghanistan as a machine gunner for an almost 8-month deployment. That experience was probably one of the best experiences in my life, but the memories from that deployment started to haunt after my return to Canada After my return from Afghanistan I wasn’t’ the same and I took me years to admit it and seek for help and then I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and received a great mental health therapy. Now, 12 years after my return from Afghanistan I learned how they deal with PTSD and the best medication I found is sport and particularly running.
I often heard about the dark sides of social media like addiction, privacy, cyber-bullying and many more. Lately, I tried to find out what are the good things social media have brought into my life. then I remembered that Facebook helps saves the lives of veterans from suicide. Veteran committing suicide is something that affects me a lot because my best friend who lost one of his legs during a deployment killed himself when I was deployed in Afghanistan and I felt so powerless at that time. In Canada, we lost more soldiers from suicide than from the Afghan combat.
Suicidal post on Facebook
Last fall while I was in England, I saw a troubling post on my Facebook feed. One of my friends I served with in Afghanistan post a goodbye message on Facebook. I felt powerless at that moment because I was too far to go check on him. Then the power of social networks changed my friend’s life, other brothers in arms saw the post and one of them knew where he lives. He went to his house right away and found him unconscious (he had tried to kill itself a medication overdose) After a few days in the hospital my friend had fully recovered from the overdose. So that night Facebook helped to save his life.
Veterans groups on Facebook
A picture of corporal Alain Lacasse during his deployment is Afghanistan in 2007. Image found on http://www.45Nord.ca.
In 2011 a well known Vandoos (Vandoos is how members of the Royal 22 Regiment are called by anglophones) Alain Lacasse committed suicide, everyone was surprised and one of his old friends decided that we have lost too many brothers from suicide and created a Facebook page to help veterans. Later, when I talked with him, he told me that they often received private messages from distress veterans who were about to commit suicide and found ways to send them help.
Report suicidal thoughts on Facebook
Have you ever thought about what you should do if you see a suicidal thought on Facebook or other social networks? Check on this article from CNET to learn how to report a suicidal thought to Facebook.Even if you’re not sure if the person is going to act, don’t take any chances and report it.
Have you ever seen a suicidal post on social media? What have you done about it ?
Facebook: Read this new post to know how social media have helped save veterans.
Twitter: Social media have saved combat veterans. #combatvet https://bit.ly/34TIL9Y