The Ruyts Foundation of Veteran Suicide Prevention in Fredericksburg was founded to bring awareness of suicide and stop it from ever taking place. With June designated National Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month, the Ruyts Foundation joins in the goal of informing the public of issues related to the disorder, helping to lessen the stigma associated with it and assisting individuals suffering from the “invisible wounds of war” in receiving appropriate treatment. The Ruyts Foundation, which was founded as a 501 (c)(3) in December 2019, is doing just that every month of the year.
“Can you imagine a world without veteran soldier suicide? Do you know what a wonderful day it will be?” asked President and Founder Jessica Ruyts, a Combat Medic Veteran of the United States Army. “Our heroes have fought for us, and now it’s time we help them fight the battles they can no longer fight alone.”
Ruyts said her passion stems from having watched too many battles fall to the demon called suicide. For this reason, every day the foundation sets out to raise more awareness and prevention than the day before.
Offering help, such as how to identify if an individual could be suicidal and assistance for those in a crisis, The Ruyts Foundation has a veterans crisis line (1-800-273-8255, press 1). It also offers online chat and the availability of sending a text message at 838255. Free, confidential support is available around the clock.
The Ruyts Foundation offers many opportunities to veterans, including:
- Support Groups: meet to offer peer support and discussion in a safe environment.
- Counseling: partnership with a local counseling office to offer $6 sessions.
- Food Bank: a “work in progress,” it will provide veterans and their families food.
Operated fully with the help of volunteers for events, the food bank, wellness activities, spending valuable time with veterans and more, the foundation is located at 11209 Piedmont Landing Drive in Fredericksburg.