Simple and effective
The founder of AboutFace‐USA® is Joe LaBranche, a Marine Veteran who served two years in Vietnam and received two purple heart medals for two separate physical injuries. Because of his injuries, 72 hours after leaving the Vietnam jungle battlefield, Joe was back in his hometown walking the streets of Detroit, Michigan. His physical injuries healed but the post-traumatic stress (PTS) symptoms lingered and festered.
There were no mental health services readily available, not to mention the stigma of mental disorders was relentless. His symptoms were clear throughout his adult life and affected his relationships with his spouse and children, his community and spiritual leaders and with his employers and co‐workers. It took Joe over 40 years to get the courage to seek help for his PTS symptoms. Now, Joe knows that mental health treatments, both therapy and medication work.
Not all veterans can have access to VA services, but no one should have to wait 40 years to learn about available trauma‐informed care
programs. Survival rates are much better now, meaning that medical miracles and improved efficiencies lower the death rate, soldiers
survive and live on with physical and unseen injuries. An estimated 25%‐45% of today's returning military veterans have PTS symptoms,
yet many refuse to seek the appropriate treatment. While the mental health industry has improved tremendously since the 1960's, there is still a strong stigma against those with mental health issues and diagnoses.
AboutFace‐USA® is a peer-led community organization existing, as an initial point of contact, to empower and encourage veterans, first‐responders and their families to find help. We provide support services, activities and resources geared toward understanding mental health issues so that they can cope better, improve their relationships, and change the direction of their future for the better. While this is not a religious organization, we encourage spirituality.