Admins banned from Facebook page aimed at helping vets with PTSD - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Admins banned from Facebook page aimed at helping vets with PTSD

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A Facebook page with more than 20,000 Likes was in some ways shut down this weekend.

That has led to some concern from the people who oversee the page.

The Facebook page, Military with PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, was created by Shawn Gourley, of Evansville, after her husband was diagnosed with the disorder. 

Gourley told 14 News that the page has helped many, but she says, this weekend, helping people was a challenge. 

"Facebook put a lot of lives in danger," said Marcus Spaulding, who is a veteran and page administrator.

Spaulding says that sometimes, veterans with the disorder, or their families, don't know where to go. So they go to Facebook, some just looking to talk, others in a life or death situation. 

"We have many veterans who come to that page to talk to counselors, to talk to Shawn, to talk to me. They don't know where else to turn to," Spaulding said. 

"On our page, I'm a certified suicide gatekeeper. We do have suicidal vets on the page that come to us for help," Gourley said. 

On Saturday, Gourley and Spaulding tried to log on to Facebook, only to learn that they had been banned, not just from the Military with PTSD page, but also from their personal accounts for at least 12 hours. 

A situation they say could end tragically. 

"What I'm really concerned about is we have veterans now who need help that we can't access," Spaulding said.

"Someone posted on my personal page that they felt like the walls were closing in on them. They didn't know how much longer they could hang on. I can't respond to her. I can't tell her to call me, anything," Gourley said. 

"We could be burying another vet," Spaulding said. 

All seven of the page's admins were banned. Facebook told them it was because of a post a veteran user had made about religion, citing that it was a violation of Facebook's community standards. 

Gourley and Spaulding reached out to Facebook, as did 14 News, with no response. 

"Facebook just needs to step out of our way. We're there to save lives. We're there to help," Spaulding said.

Gourley and Spaulding said on Sunday night that all of the page's admins once again have access to the page. They're hoping to find a solution, one they believe will give veterans the freedom to say what they want on the page without the risk of putting lives in danger. 

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