About Film

VA Dr. Branson shares why she is championing ALMOST SUNRISE

The film is lovely and its portrayal of returning Veterans heart felt. My experience working clinically with Veterans is often brutal as we resonate with the brutality of their own experience. If we, as providers, can bring our Veterans even minimal  relief, it is worth our discomfort; any effort on our part considering the enormous  sacrifices they have made for us by fighting our ugly wars is our responsibility as providers and as a nation.  That said, I prefer not to attend “Military” movies, especially those made in Hollywood. My work is so very important to me and the only way I can continue to serve our Veterans is by preserving myself.  Managing my own fatigue and burn out is crucial to taking hold of the task at hand. So, when Michael called the Resilience Center to offer us tickets to his film, I declined initially. After-hours for me, are for non-war related activities, not an artistic rendition of my daily life. Michael, however, convinced me that this film was different so I agreed to attend. His film, “Almost Sunrise,” was playing at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival at Lincoln Center, also a significant film festival for me. And…

Reflections from the Association for VA Social Workers President about partnership with Almost Sunrise

As President of the Association of VA Social Workers (AVASW), a professional organization for social workers employed by the VA, VA social work trainees, and retired VA social workers, I get a variety of inquiries from organizations or individuals who are looking to connect with VA social workers. A few months ago,  I was contacted by one of the promoters of Almost Sunrise looking for a way to expose VA social workers and maybe even VA employees to the film.  The more I learned about the film and their bigger mission to raise awareness about veteran suicide, moral injury and alternative therapies and/or treatment, I knew that I had to be find a way to work with this great team.  Every email interchange or phone call with a member of the Almost Sunrise team has confirmed that developing a partnership with this group was a great decision. As a trained mental health provider, I am accustomed to talking about heavy topics such as depression, PTSD,  and suicide with my colleagues.  I have been so impressed with the knowledge and sensitivity that the film’s team has brought to our discussions about these issues.  The film does an amazing job of introducing…