Along with honoring our Veterans for their heroic contributions, it's important to understand and support them through the common mental health conditions that many face after a career in the military. Life during and after service presents different challenges than many civilian careers (especially physically), which often causes distress both short term and long.
Veterans need our support today and always. Here are 4 ways you can support the mental health of Veterans moving forward:
Become familiar with the most common mental health conditions Veterans face
Past studies have proven that Veterans are at a higher risk for mental health conditions compared to civilians. By familiarizing yourself with the reasons behind this and also the specifics of the most common conditions Veterans face, we can better identify those in need and understand how to support them on a path forward.
The most common mental health conditions faced by Veterans include:
Depression and Anxiety
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Learn more about each of these mental health conditions here.
Learn about substance abuse signs and watch for them in Veterans you know
When Veterans' mental health conditions go untreated and they can't get the support they deserve, many of them will turn to substances for relief. Healing from service-related traumas and conditions is something that many try to do alone – afraid to ask for help, or unable to get it due to paperwork and claim difficulties. Keep an eye out for signs of substance abuse in Veterans in your life to identify who might be in need of support.
According to Mayo Clinic, these are a few signs of substance abuse:
Neglecting one's appearance
Problems at work or in the community
Instability in behavior and mood
Lack of motivation, energy, or weight gain
Donate to organizations that support mental health and Veterans
If you have the resources and ability, donating your time or money to support Veterans in need is a wonderful way to get involved. Veteran Support Organizations, such as American Legion and VFW, are great places to get involved and meet Veterans in your area. Community support and engagement is vital for everyone's mental health – and both Veterans and civilians can benefit from staying connected in-person.
You can also donate to a mental health organization such as The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
Do you or a Veteran you know need mental health support?
You don't have to suffer in silence. We're here to help. Our team of compassionate professionals at MRPY Professional Services is here to support you in getting the VA disability benefits that you deserve. We work with Veterans to draft effective documentation and file claims that get results.