Roughly 20 veterans a day commit suicide nationwide, according to data from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Our trainer, Tim has developed a new training technique called the SHIPAR technique which is CANINE self-harm interruption, prevention, and reconnection. Please let me describe what you will be seeing as we do not want to alarm anyone. Tim will role-play what it may look like for someone to attempt to take their own life with a handgun. The gun is a plastic toy gun. This scene will be graphic but necessary to demonstrate this service dogs’ capability.
This is a task designed to assist those veterans who have suicidal thoughts, or for those veterans that may fall into a sudden severe depression and attempt to take their own lives by the use of a weapon. Specially trained dogs, like Athena, can be taught to interrupt self-harm by demanding the veteran to reconnect to the here and now. By the dog being persistent in barking and demanding the reconnection this technique can be very powerful and can save lives for those who suffer from PTSD. Here is the demonstration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjhKxNmYSmU