I greatly admire and appreciate the work our men and women in uniform have done for this nation. These selfless individuals have devoted a lifetime to protect and serve. Some family and many friends have served, and continue to serve in the armed forces. I have a special interest in promoting quality mental wellness access and healing to returning veterans.
The current wait for veterans to receive disability care is backlogged 237 days (ABUSE of system video). The atrocities of war is something many of us cannot imagine--to endure or witness acts of violence and oppression tests the human psyche. When veterans come back to civilian life, the transitions may be difficult, and support for mental wellness concerns lacking. According to MilitaryMentalHealthy.org (2013) as many as 11-20% of veterans experience PTSD
bing image search: PTSD
Returning veterans may turn to substances for coping when access to mental wellness help is unavailable. Personal relationships may also be impaired when PTSD symptoms are difficult to understand or work through. Loved ones may not know how to address symptoms of PTSD or discuss what happened on tour. There may also be a strong moral or gender code of working through problems within the group, or keeping problems to oneself.
The government is working towards offering more services to our veterans, and filtering through cases that are abusing the system. If you are or know a veteran in need of mental wellness services, please encourage seeking help. There are professionals who may not fully understand what it was like to be there, but want to try to understand. Many of us have been through trauma--what links us as human beings may be an unspoken connection to understand or validate another person's experience.
- Wounded Warrior Project
- Abuse of Veteran Disability Services | Upworthy.com
- PTSD Overview | Dept. of Veteran Affairs
- PTSD Infographic | MilitaryMentalHealth.org
- Traumatic Brain Injury & PTSD | Dept. of Veteran Affairs
- How Does PTSD Affect the Brain? | YouTube - Dr. Frank Ochberg
- Veteran Crisis Line | 1-800-273-8255