New documentary offers hope for veterans with PTSD

New documentary offers hope for veterans with PTSD
Seattle gets a sneak preview of the documentary "Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1" -- HBO SIFF November 6, 2013

Seattle viewers were some of the first in the nation to see a new report about veterans and the volunteers who help them in the fight against Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  

The HBO documentary is called "Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1" and was previewed at the Seattle International Film Festival.

Director Ellen Goosenberg-Kent says the piece looks at the only national crisis call center for vets, and tells a story by simply listening in to half of the confidential conversation.

"It's extraordinary.  I mean, there are a couple of hundred people on the phone.  The phones ring 24-7," says Goosenberg-Kent. "The phones ring more when there's something happening in the world that is triggering for veterans."

She says fellow vets and family members of soldiers patiently work to talk callers through what is often a life or death scenario.

"What was interesting for me was to hear the way these responders were able to help people find a reason to go on," says Goosenberg-Kent.

Today, she hopes the report can help veterans who have become lost in government bureaucracy.

"I think it would be really great if more veterans realize that there's sort of a secret weapon out there for them," she says.

And more needs to be done.

"The fact that 22 veterans are killing themselves every day and have for the past decade makes it clear that something is missing, and I think we should be asking a lot of hard questions about why that's not there for them."

"Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1" airs at 9 tonight on HBO.  You can learn more about the veterans crisis line here or by calling 1-800-273-8255.