STMSS28 – Tom Cruz – Suicide Attempt Survivor and Prevention Advocate

 


About Today’s Guest: 

Tom Cruz is an Active Duty Master Sergeant in the United States Army with over 25 years of service.  He has deployed in support of Operation Joint Guardian, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Jordan.  He has lived experience with suicide prevention and awareness resulting from an attempt in 2010 to take his life.  Since his attempt, he became a huge advocate of more awareness and prevention for Veterans.  Tom has taken his skills to social media, where he assisted in pioneering two organizations to identify and assist Veterans with mental health issues, suicidal ideations, relationship issues, financial concerns and other Veteran specific issues.  With his own recovery breaking the stigma within the military on career status, family life and security clearance myths, he has pushed to bring holistic means to Veterans to the road of recovery.

Tom has been widely sought by military units, military bases, DoD organizations, National Suicide Organizations and the White House for his expertise on Veterans issues and social media.  He is Master Resilience Trained Level One, an Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) Instructor, Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) trained, and an Army Suicide Intervention (SI) trainer.  He is also the Program Director for Suicide and Awareness with Veterans Counseling Veterans, advisor to Animal Rescue & Veteran Support Services, panel member of Center of Innovation on Disability and Rehabilitation Research with University of South Florida, and subject matter expert with White House and Office of the Surgeon General. Tom received the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) 2017 Voice Award Consumer/Peer/Family Leadership Award for his work to ensure America’s military and veteran communities have access to the mental health and substance use treatment and services they deserve

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Tom Cruz on Twitter

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Shauna’s latest book: Warrior: How to Support Those Who Protect Us

Duane’s latest book: Military in the Rear View Mirror: Mental Health and Wellness in Post-Military Life


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Duane France
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Duane K. L. France is a combat veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as a mental health counselor practicing in the state of Colorado. Do you want to join the conversation regarding veteran mental health? Share, like, and comment. Read Duane's previous posts and follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn. Keep the conversation about #veteranmentalhealth going.