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We give veterans our all after they've given it all for us.

Mental Health Help for Veterans

Mental Health problems are widely known amongst the veteran community. Many veterans deal with post-traumatic stress disorder, substance use disorder, depression, and suicidal tendencies. Acclimating to regular life outside of active duty military can sometimes be tough for many veterans, and anxiety along with other problems begin to build rapidly. That combined with behavior attributed to self-medication via alcohol or drugs is a recipe for disaster, and more needs to be done to help veterans that are stuck in this downward spiral.

Recent studies by the VA show that 20 veterans commit suicide each day nationwide. In 2014, more than 7,400 veterans took their lives, accounting for 18% of all suicides in America. What’s even more shocking is that veterans only make up 9% of the overall U.S. population. Researchers found that a veteran has a 21% greater chance to commit suicide than that of a regular adult civilian. This disparity is a very real problem within the veteran community, and the VA has taken steps to help change these disturbing trends.

The VA has hired 5,300 mental health providers and support staff to help with this problem. Suicide prevention lines have also been beefed up as a result.* Another way the VA is attempting to stop this epidemic is by implementing procedures early on to identify a veteran who may have a higher probability of committing suicide in his return to civilian life. Testing is done to see if the veteran is considered “high risk” for suicide and if so, treatment begins before any significant event occurs.

Civilians who may be interested in helping this cause can help by assisting with telephone coaching for families of veterans. Through the VA website, more information can be found on this program and materials can be requested if one has a desire to get more involved.

 

The biggest thing to keep in mind is the need to be proactive and to catch symptoms early if a veteran has a predisposition to suicidal thoughts or tendencies. If possible, it’s best to recognize and treat the problem, before it turns into something significant. If the problem isn’t caught early enough, it could be extremely detrimental to the veteran patient and correcting their behavior may be almost impossible.

If you are a veteran who is having mental issues or problems, take it upon yourself to seek help. There is no shame in calling the veterans crisis line www.veteranscrisisline.net and talking to someone about what’s on your mind. Sometimes only venting your thoughts and emotions can be incredibly relieving and beneficial.

You also may want to schedule a meeting with a VA counselor if you feel you are having a hard time adapting or adjusting to healthy society. The last thing you want to do is continue to ignore these thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and act as if everything is alright. Seek help immediately; you are not alone, and many veterans like you suffer from the same problems and mental illness.

History of Veterans Day

Veterans Day is an important holiday in U.S. History. Although many Americans may confuse it with Memorial Day, Veterans Day has its unique reason for being celebrated as a United States Holiday. Veterans Day was originally known as Armistice Day and was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor the end of World War I. The end of World War I took place on November 11th, 1918 and on November 11th, 1938 it was officially made a holiday in the United States.

The holiday was then amended on June 1st, 1954 and changed from “Armistice” day to “Veterans” day. The new holiday was meant to honor all American veterans of all wars, not just World War I. After this amendment, a push was made to try and have Veterans Day act as a holiday that ensured a three-day weekend, and the date was moved to the 4th Monday in October. Eventually, President Gerald Ford signed a law which returned Veterans Day to its original date of November 11th and it has to be celebrated on that day ever since.*

Memorial Day, on the other hand, is meant to honor and remember all soldiers who lost their lives in war fighting for the United States. It’s celebrated on the last Monday in May and provides a 3-day weekend for most Americans. Veterans Day focuses more on living men and women who have served the United States, while Memorial Day focuses on those who died.

Both holidays intend to show the importance of honoring our men and women of the United States Military and the sacrifices they’ve made for our country. If you are someone who appreciates this sacrifice and would like to give back somehow, various volunteer organizations help. Many veterans are disabled or out of work and need assistance adapting to normal daily life again.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is the primary government organization associated with providing veteran care and services in the United States. At any point in time, one can volunteer to work for this agency if they’d like to help veterans in any way possible. To date, over 140,000 volunteers gave more than 11 million hours in service to America’s Veterans.

There are also many other organizations with more specific causes that aim to help veterans who need assistance. Some of these organizations focus on particular wars, while others focus on gender or specific disabilities.

Veterans Day is something that should be celebrated by all Americans. These men and women fought for our country and made enormous sacrifices for our safety and way of life. Physically, many soldiers may have lost limbs or hearing/eyesight, while mentally many soldiers never fully recover from the brutality of war. These individuals should be acknowledged and given great respect for their service. Without them, the United States of America as we know it today would cease to exist, and the world would be a very different place. America’s influence across the entire globe is paramount, and our veterans are the reason behind America’s presence in the world as a superpower.