COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Like many Americans, Michele Ladd will be racking up the miles this summer.
She’s on the road with her dog, Chellis, traveling across the country.
“About 70% of my life is spent on the road now,” Ladd said.
Ladd and Chellis won’t be sightseeing, but instead they’ll be sharing stories from a 32-foot RV known as the Hero Mobile.
“It’s prevalent. I’m hearing about suicide on a daily basis now,” she said.
Ladd is traveling from state to state meeting with veterans and first responders to talk about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression addiction, and suicide.
According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, veterans in South Carolina are 26% more likely to have depression than non-veterans.
“So many of them are crying out for help, but they don’t want to say it,” Ladd said.
Ladd is the mother of two military veterans. She said her two sons inspired her to start National Veteran Resources. She works nonstop to get veterans and first responders the help they need to deal with mental illness.
“If I can make a difference in one veteran’s life, that will mean the most to me,” she said.
Ladd has already traveled thousands of miles and has thousands more left to go, but she’s already making a difference.
“Never give up hope or faith, that’s my main message,” Ladd said.
You can learn more about National Veteran Resources by visiting their Facebook page by clicking here.
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can contact the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.