UIC Law student Ashley Tuburan, a Chief Legal Office summer intern recently wrote a piece about her experience with the USAA Government and Industry Relations “Face the Fight” initiative. The initiative seeks to provide resources to Veterans suffering from PTSD, suicidal ideations, and other mental health crises.
“I was introduced to the Face the Fight™ initiative by USAA’s Government and Industry Relations (GIR) team within the first couple days of my internship with USAA. From the second I heard about Face the Fight™, I knew that I wanted to become involved. The important message behind this campaign sits incredibly close with me and my family. For the past 9 years, prior to attending law school, I have served as a police officer. I quickly learned that being a police officer was much more than arresting criminals. More often, it was coming face to face with people who were having some of the worst days of their lives.
I often responded to calls involving individuals experiencing mental health crises or threatening to die by suicide. It was apparent that as police officers, we needed to do more. My department invested in a new program that provided extra training to several officers to help individuals experiencing a crisis. I attended the training and became part of our Crisis Intervention Team. After receiving my training, I was tasked with responding to all calls involving someone experiencing a mental health crisis. Many of those calls involved veterans who struggled with PTSD and suicidal ideations.
As a veteran myself, I was able to quickly build a relationship with the individual who needed help. We were able to talk about our common military experiences and I was able to communicate that I understood a small piece of their struggle because I also struggle with anxiety and PTSD. In that situation, I would share that I seek treatment for my mental health struggles and underscore that it is okay to ask for help.This mission became even more personal when my husband almost lost his life to his struggles with PTSD. My husband served as a combat medic in the U.S. Army. After his service, he started a career as a firefighter/paramedic. When he first realized he was struggling, it was almost too late.My husband and I were both trained to recognize the “signs” of someone struggling. We were trained to respond to calls about others struggling and knew howto connect individuals with treatment, so I…”