Sometimes the mental health of veterans is very fragile after facing difficult and traumatic combat situations overseas. It’s a critical focus for us because it’s a common stumbling block for many good men and women trying to lead normal lives.
Let’s examine a few ways to better understand the mental health of veterans.
How to Understand the Mental Health of Veterans
- Understanding the Risk of Suicide
- We start with this problem first because it’s a growing concern both within the veteran community and among young people at large. Even back in 2017, there were almost 20 suicides per day among veterans. Much of the trouble stems from isolation, anxiety, serious brain injuries, and traumatic experiences.
- How do we address this? There are several ways like spending more time with them (even random conversation) as well as pursuing the education necessary to provide suicide-assistance counseling. At a minimum, if you encounter a veteran with suicidal ideation, let them know they can get help through the Veterans Crisis Line (1-800-273-8255).
- Understanding Depression
- Some estimates suggest roughly 4% of the population experiences depression. Our observation is that this is markedly higher for service veterans. A study from 2013 claims that the rate was as high as 10%.
- This is another area you should take seriously if you have a friend or family member suffering from depression. Contact professional assistance like the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAHM) to find mental health services related to depression treatment.
- Understanding Crippling Anxiety
- Sometimes anxiety gets so bad that it inhibits daily life functions. While it’s normal to feel moderate levels of stress and anxiety, it’s not healthy for it to turn into panic attacks and the like. We definitely want to pay close attention to anybody who uses alcohol and other substances to placate anxiety symptoms.
- Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- This can be a two-fold problem where former service members experience TBIs both in combat as well as later in life from a falling accident. The condition obviously requires ongoing medical care, but there are ways to support TBI victims. You could always help them buy and train a service dog or get them special assistance from groups like SRQ Vets.
- Understanding Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder (PTSD)
- PTSD affects veterans at about 15 times the frequency of the general population. This is a difficult persistent disorder that manifests itself in alcohol abuse, angry outbursts, nightmares, and anxiety.
- Beyond referring PTSD sufferers to professional diagnosis and assistance, you can make the effort to learn and avoid whatever triggers PTSD episodes.
SRQ Vets has the express purpose of assisting American veterans, especially in the Sarasota area. You can help our mission by getting involved in whatever ways your circumstances permit. There’s more than one way to show you care. Whether you choose to spend time with a vet, donate generously, or even help with home repairs, there are many vets who would appreciate it. Contact us at any time to learn more at 941-777-8387.