At the Intersection of Guns and Mental Health

At the Intersection of Guns and Mental Health Seminar attendees with WTTA and Zephyr Wellness
At the Intersection of Guns and Mental Health Seminar attendees with WTTA and Zephyr Wellness

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)-Walk The Talk America (WTTA), a non-profit organization working to foster relationships between firearms companies and firearms owners with the mental health community, and their partner, Zephyr Wellness, a Reno, Nevada-based counseling agency, held the first of a series of seminars at the Reno Guns & Range on July 25, 2019. The event, entitled “At the Intersection of Guns and Mental Health,” introduced mental health professionals to the gun culture in an effort to open a dialog between gun owners and mental health practitioners.

Michael Sodini, founder and CEO of WTTA, kicked off the inaugural workshop and Zephyr Wellness co-founder and clinical director, Jake Wiskerchen, addressed the full house on issues facing both the mental health and 2nd Amendment community and ways to bridge that gap, bringing about increased awareness, and developing resources to help people in need.

“I could not be prouder of what we are doing or more pleased at how the training went. The attendees all reported that they got a lot out of it and are looking forward to more classes,” Wiskerchen commented. “Our aim is to do a full-blown certificate program sometime in the near future so that gun owners will be able to identify clinicians who welcome and affirm their needs without stigma or judgment.”

Rob Pincus, WTTA board member, professional firearms trainer, author, and consultant, gave attendees shooting safety and instruction and the opportunity to shoot handguns at Reno Guns & Range’s new state-of-the-art, redesigned, full-service, indoor shooting and training facility.

Rob Pincus, WTTA board member and shooting instructor with attendees at Reno Guns & Range
Rob Pincus, WTTA board member and shooting instructor with attendees at Reno Guns & Range

Gun Freedom Radio Show host, Cheryl Todd, was among the attendees and invited the WTTA and Zephyr Wellness team for a conversation on the event. Sodini and Wiskerchen attended and the interview can be found here:

Sodini concluded, “Our first event went off better than anticipated and having a course like this is long overdue. Bringing two sides together for cultural understanding is the only way to get past the stigma and fear both sides deal with on a daily basis. With Rob’s instruction in firearms, Jake’s knowledge in mental health and my passion for bringing both sides together, I am excited about the future. This will save lives.”

Upcoming courses for mental health care professionals will be posted on the WTTA and Zephyr Wellness sites.


About Walk the Talk America:Walk The Talk America

Our mission is to fund research and development for outreach and promotion of mental health to reduce the misconceptions and prejudices that exist when it comes to mental illness and firearms. We believe we can be a catalyst for change by working with experts in the mental health industry. www.walkthetalkamerica.org

About Zephyr Wellness:

Locally owned and operated, Zephyr offers outpatient counseling for individuals, couples, groups, and families of all ages and demographics, regardless of their struggles. Our mission is to provide citizens in our community, state, and country with the best possible care for mind, body, and spirit through accessible, holistic and compassionate approaches that honor personal freedom. www.zephyrwellness.org

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Renov8
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Renov8

Seems this initiative is being met with resistance from some of our highly agitated members…maybe give this a week before bringing up again. For those of you who have never had the benefit of seeing a good counselor or someone able to help you with whatever plagued you at the time…you are doing yourself a grave injustice. Having someone listen objectively and offer advice, perhaps even offer up some skills to help you deal with ongoing stress or issues is priceless and will pay you back in spades. At some point in everyone’s lives…their is some dysfunction. How you handle… Read more »

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@Renov8, No, no… let him explain. Once he drops the modern baby talk, he might add something to his explanation that changes the minds of the readership. And my apologies, I did not mean to agitate him. Do you really think that he is agitated?

Michael Sodini
Member
Michael Sodini

I’m not agitated at all. I also love discussions like these. We are all pro 2A….we can always fall back on that. Too many people get fired up over BS. This is one topic….You and I can agree on other things….we can also disagree on some.

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@MS, I am glad to read that we can agree on Second Amendment Civil Rights. You should come on down to Texas and shoot my machine gun sometime. And If you are nice, I know a place where we can play with a crew served 105! Pricey, but really good therapy.

Rob Pincus
Member

Thanks to everyone who “gets” this project and why it is important.
For those of you who don’t, ask yourself this question:

Are you more worried about your gun rights or people getting the mental health assistance they need?

(hint: the two aren’t mutually exclusive and they MUST be advocated for together. If we don’t, then people in our community will continue to suffer and die in ways that could be avoided AND mental health issues will be weaponized against us by some with anti-gun agendas.)

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@RP, It is not a matter of understanding it. It is a matter of rejecting it. I am more concerned with my Constitutional Civil Rights because those Constitutional Civil Rights are mine. Those Civil Rights include keeping and carrying a firearm; defending my self; improving my life with the talents that God gave me; or ending my like if the pain becomes unbearable. Someone else’s mental health is their business, so I take no notice of it. The two are mutually exclusive. All people die. The vast majority suffer during their final illness. Not realizing that is an error of… Read more »

Michael Sodini
Member
Michael Sodini

Yeah but what if you don’t want to end your life if you feel pain and still want to keep your gun rights? Like a veteran that comes home from war…..you would tell him to not seek help in a time of crisis?

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@MS, ” a veteran that comes home from war..” Yes. There are many of us here. I am one. I would tell him to meet me at the VFW. The Bartender does not keep records or report to any governmental agency. Everyone feel pain. We all don’t need a clinician for that.
Drop that modern bs and come on out to the country. Fresh air, honest friendships, plenty of paid work, men and women know what they are here for.
Get out of that city, it will ruin your body, mind and perspective. Just pick up and leave.

Michael Sodini
Member
Michael Sodini

Either does the clinician….except in NY and NJ….educate yourself on the subject. Don’t be scared to keep learning…..and let’s never give up our 2A rights. Easy

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@MS, Brother Renov8 was right you are agitated. You agitate easily. When you write, “Either does the clinician…” What are you trying to say? When you do not use a whole sentence and do use the wrong words, it is hard to understand you. I asked you a bunch of questions in an attempt to understand this “program” that you are trying to sell, but all I am getting is illogical insults. As to never giving up our Second Amendment Civil Rights, I won’t but if you don’t understand the unlimited character and pre-emptive nature of a Right, then you… Read more »

GAMtns
Member
GAMtns

You’d be surprised how many ordained ministers and mental health professionals have concealed carry permits, me being one of them. WTTA might actually advertise for those with permits to contact them if they are interested.

MikeRoss
Member
MikeRoss

I hope the program is successful and reaches a lot of mental health professionals. Especially the knuckleheads at the VA. They react with such alarm when they find out a veteran owns a gun. It’s worrying because who knows what they could set in motion.

Michael Sodini
Member
Michael Sodini

Thank you…..we plan on it. It’s really sad that people don’t have access and are afraid to get help in a time of crisis. What’s happening is just plain wrong. People are dying in our community and it’s wrong….some people in this comment section may be ok with losing members of the 2A community….I’m not. Our rights shall not be infringed and we are entitled to mental health treatment in a time of crisis.

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@MS, I presume that some people is an ensconce reference to me, so with your permission … You write, “People are dying in our community and it’s wrong…” It is not wrong. All people in your community will die. Your notion of saving a life is an illusion. It is an extended fear of your own death.
But now, I have a list of questions that you have not even attempted to answer. Don’t be so self centered try to communicate. This is all about developing a program that you can sell to government, isn’t it?

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

Ooops. It should be: I presume that “some people” is an ensconce reference to me…
My error.

Michael Sodini
Member
Michael Sodini

If the shoe fits wild bill! And you confirmed it

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@MS, When you wrote “some people”, I just presumed that it referred to me since no one else was conversing with you, My presumption does not support any actual conclusion. Your slinging sideways insults does not answer any of the questions that I forthrightly asked you. Getting past your insults, opsec precludes Face Book (hereinafter FP). What is IG to you? To me, IG is Inspector General. Getting past your second insult, non-fit is not a word. You write,”… not sure where you think we are doing this for profit…” Well, conferences cost money. No one works for nothing. After… Read more »

Tionico
Member
Tionico

In one sense, yes we all die so no death is preventable, ultimately. BUT.. in another very rea sense, there are different ways of departing this big dirtball. Being taken out by someone seriously mentally impaired is NOT the “normal” kind of death we all must accept. Or for an individual to become so disturbed and unbalanced they decide to end their own lives…. I’ve been close to people whose loved ones have made that decision.. decades later it STILL HURTS. The ones who are now dead by their own hands needed help before their premature end. The ones left… Read more »

UncleT
Member
UncleT

Wiskerchen commented. “Our aim is to do a full-blown certificate program sometime in the near future so that gun owners will be able to identify clinicians who welcome and affirm their needs without stigma or judgment.” First, Why do these folks always say this, it is always being judgemental or you wouldn’t be there in the first place. Second, are we now saying that gun owners are needing counseling before they should purchase a firearm? Democrats have brought up this idea many times. I think this could be used against gun owners even more. 3rd, should we have mental evaluations… Read more »

Michael Sodini
Member
Michael Sodini

Wow……You clearly did not read the article!

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@MS, I read your article. I had to read it several times. You wrote, “… issues facing both the mental health and 2nd Amendment community and ways to bridge that gap, bringing about increased awareness, and developing resources to help people in need.” Mighty vague.
What issues do you contend face both the mental health and Second Amendment Civil Rights community? What do you contend the Second Amendment community consists of? What gap? What resources? Seems like you are trying to develop a product to sell and profit by. I invite your further explanation.

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@MS, What no response. Am I, then, to presume that you are unable or unwilling to clarify?
Is this program of yours a fraud or built on contrived conceptions?

tomcat
Member
tomcat

@ Wild Bill When all you hear are crickets then you know there is no explanation to what you asked. It is either just for profit or to trap gun owners.

Michael Sodini
Member
Michael Sodini

LOL you are too funny. No response is because I don’t sit and wait for you to respond. I just saw this so relax. As a matter of fact, I would love to debate you on a FB or IG live. Also, WTTA is a non-fit with no paid employees so not sure where you think we are doing this for profit. You do realize that people inside the 2A community are taking their own lives because they are afraid to seek assistance in a time of crisis because they don’t want to lose gun rights? For example, we lost… Read more »

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@MS, Getting past your insults, opsec precludes Face Book (hereinafter FP). What is IG? Why the abbreviation? Getting past your second insult, non-fit is not a word. You write,”… not sure where you think we are doing this for profit…” Well, conferences cost money. No one works for nothing. After a product is developed, developers tend to want to profit by their endeavors. I think that you are alluding to suicide being a some kind of problem that you need to solve. First, no one lives for ever so you are not saving anyone. Second, if someone wants to improve… Read more »

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@Tcat, Happy Sunday, brother. It is almost time for Sunday dinner!

loveaduck
Member
loveaduck

Where did it say any of that? Reread or read for the first time.

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@duck, UT is just using vision to look beyond the current proposal. Many democrat socialists would distort these proposals and make them mandatory. It would be a very short step.

Michael Sodini
Member
Michael Sodini

WTF are you talking about? Seriously, I feel like you are trolling

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@MS, Cursing on a Sunday … really? Please note that the my response was to “loveaduck” not you. Most rude.
As to trolling, this my home turf, but we have never seen you before.

Michael Sodini
Member
Michael Sodini

He’s not understanding what he is reading….he’s jumping to some strange conclusion and not researching.

Will
Member
Will

@Michael Sodini,this is for you to think on and do some reflection,…”a wink is a good as a nod to a blind mule” ! Insulting W.B. is an asinine path to take.

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@Will, Happy Sunday! Please don’t warn him off. The trap is set.

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@MS, You say he is not understanding. Perhaps you should look to your writing effort. UncleT was just using the wisdom of his experience to look into future possibilities. He did not say that that was the future. When it comes to the range of possibilities in human endeavors, that is not a a waste of time.

BigJim
Member
BigJim

@WB, Thank you for carefully dismantling this bomb hidden underneath dog$h!t.

Tionico
Member
Tionico

Second, are we now saying that gun owners are needing counseling before they should purchase a firearm?

YOU might be saying that, but nowhere in this piece was any such idea put forward.
You’re like the kids of old throwing rocks at the mama bear with her two cubs…… not only did that trick NOT drive Mama Bear away, she and her cubs turned and killed the brats throwing rocks. You can read about that in that Book you mention once in a while. You can find it for youerself.

JT
Member

It’s about time we bridged the gap between responsible professionals in their respective fields. Kudos to all involved in this innovative program. Let’s hope this initiative spreads.

Michael Sodini
Member
Michael Sodini

Thank you! We plan on taking this nationwide and adding courses.

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@MS, Where will the funds come from to take “this” (what is the antecedent) nationwide? Profit, perhaps.

Michael Sodini
Member
Michael Sodini

From donation of time

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@JT, What did this “gap bridging training” consist of?

Michael Sodini
Member
Michael Sodini

Having clinicians who have never been introduced to the 2A gun culture come into our world. We have over a dozen therapists who never shot a firearm on the range, learning about firearms.

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@MS, Hmmm so your therapists and clinicians can not understand the benefit of owning a tool, without owning that tool. Perhaps analogizing to hammer, or screwdriver ownership would be helpful.

Michael Sodini
Member
Michael Sodini

Quick question….How do you bring people into our community to grow it? When someone doesn’t understand gun culture, what do you do?

Michael Sodini
Member
Michael Sodini

What The Frank Bill….why haven’t you answered Rob’s question?

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@MS, Who is Frank Bill?

Michael Sodini
Member
Michael Sodini

How but What The Fudge Bill since I’m being accused of swearing on a Sunday

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@MS, Well, it is less discourteous, but still not a real question. So it deserves not a real answer.
You lack a verb. If you asked, What is the fudge bill? That question can be answered.
Finally, yes you were blaspheming on a Sunday. We do not appreciate it.