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Community screening of ONCE A HERO to raise awareness about PTSD

Published: Jun. 25, 2021 at 9:05 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 27, 2021 at 7:33 AM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - In honor of National PTSD Awareness Day on Sunday, community members are invited to a free screening of ONCE A HERO, a 90-minute feature film about an American war veteran struggling to find his way.

The goal of the event is to raise awareness about PTSD, veteran homelessness and addiction. It will also raise funds for the Inner Defense Initiative, a community-based research collaborative working to develop a biochemical screening tool for PTSD.

The Inner Defense Initiative is led by Little Orange Fish, a local nonprofit focused on bringing light to mental health care needs. John Schmitt, a founding member of the initiative said the ultimate goal of their research is to help people suffering from PTSD or trauma early on.

“We know that we have a path to provide a clinically relevant screening tool to inform early intervention, which we know is the best outcome for folks,” Schmitt said. “Increased funding and donations will help us expedite the research needed and the validation needed to make it a commercially viable tool.”

Learn more about the Inner Defense Initiative using this link: https://www.innerdefense.org/about.

ONCE A HERO was written by Huntsville Navy Seal veteran Brett Jones, who also stars as the main character. Jones takes us through his life, highlighting the challenges of life after war.

Schmitt believes it is important to talk about trauma and find ways to help one another. He hopes the screening will inform the community, and remind people who are struggling that they are not alone.

“I think it’s just important to start a conversation,” he said. “One of our goals as well is to reduce the stigma of what PTSD looks like, sounds like, and feels like… And you have to use community conversation to get there.”

The screening is happening at the Bob Jones High School Theater from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Schmitt noted, the film has adult content.

You can reserve a ticket using this link: https://www.tickettailor.com/events/onceahero/530849.

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