Dealership Presents $20,000 to Charities that Address Mental Health on National PTSD Awareness Day June 27
Programs include service dog training for veterans suffering from PTSD and community-based suicide prevention educational program
Employees from Larry H. Miller American Toyota, with support from Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., presented $20,000 total to Paws and Stripes and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention New Mexico on Wednesday, June 27 at 10 a.m. at 5995 Alameda Blvd. NE. June 27 is National PTSD Awareness Day.
“For our organization, this gift is truly life changing, and in many cases, lifesaving, as data shows that a veteran still commits suicide every 65 minutes, which equals 22 a day,” said Rich Grainger III, director of development, Paws and Stripes. “By training local shelter dogs as service dogs for U.S. military veterans with PTSD and TBI, we are essentially saving lives, two at a time. This amazing gift from Larry H. Miller American Toyota will ensure that current and future veterans in our program (and the dogs that stand by their side) will continue to get the help and support they deserve”.
Paws and Stripes provides service dogs to military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and brain injuries through integrating service dog training and education with mental health support. The service is provided at no cost to the veteran, with all training and veteran/dog matches achieved solely through donations. In 2017, the average veteran in the Paws and Stripes program experienced a 31.7 percent overall reduction in day-to-day PTSD/TBI symptoms. According to the National Center for PTSD, this is considered a ‘clinically significant change,’ meaning that the results have a significantly ‘real, genuine, palpable, and noticeable effect on daily life.’
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) does grassroots work focused on eliminating the loss of life from suicide by delivering innovative prevention programs, educating the public about risk factors and warning signs, raising funds for suicide research and programs and reaching out to individuals who have lost someone to suicide. The AFSP will use their $10,000 grant towards their “Talk Saves Lives” program, a community-based educational program which provides a safe space to learn about what suicide is, who it affects, what we know about it and what can be done to prevent it when a loved one is in crisis. These trainings will take place in family shelters throughout Albuquerque.