08/30/2013 08:13 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Huffington This Week: Just Ask

In this week's issue, we launch "Invisible Casualties," a month-long series that examines the ever-growing -- but not widely discussed -- issue of suicide in the military. Since 2000, the rate at which troops are being hospitalized for mental-health illness has risen a startling 87 percent.

David Wood spent months speaking to military members and veterans, their family members and mental-health experts to answer the question: How do we help?

We meet former National Guard Lt. Mike McMichael, who shares the harrowing story that edged him closer to seriously considering suicide -- a story that could have had a different end had his wife, Jackie, not intervened.

"[Suicide] was the only thing that was going to make things right," McMichael says of his plan to drown himself in the river outside his home. Until one day, Jackie sat him down and said, "You're not gonna talk like that anymore," helping to set him on the path toward recovery.

Thousands of others have not been so fortunate -- each day, approximately 22 veterans commit suicide. The stigma associated with suicide, coupled with a national shortage of mental health care providers, prevents large numbers from seeking help.

David confronts this reality, speaking to relatives of military members and veterans who died by suicide. These mothers, fathers and grandfathers of veterans from Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond share their stories in a powerful photo and audio feature in the pages ahead, which we're calling "Second Life." As one put it, they are members of a group you'd never want to be part of.

"Invisible Casualties" will also feature a series of brief profiles of veterans who almost committed suicide or seriously contemplated it, then pulled back. And on The Huffington Post, you'll be able to see a new blog post from a veteran, family member, military member or therapist every weekday in September.

Elsewhere in the issue, the legendary Kirk Douglas reflects on his experiences with rejection, and how they shaped his character, and his relationship with his son. Even after a long and fruitful acting career, a rejection later in life "still hurt." "Yet, for me, it was a valuable lesson," he continues. "Sometimes what you think you want is not what you really need."

And as part of our continuing focus on reducing everyday stress, we present seven apps that will give you the tools to live a healthier life at home and at work.


This story appears in special Labor Day issue of our weekly iPad magazine, Huffington, in the iTunes App store, available Friday, August 30.