On November 11, Veterans Day, we honor and thank all the men and women who served or are serving in the United States Armed Forces. We express gratitude for their sacrifices.
Veterans Mental Health
“They’ve Given Us Their Best – It’s Time to Give Them Our Best.” This is a fitting title for a blog recently written by Jeannie Campbell, Executive Vice President & COO, National Council for Behavioral Health. While veterans have sacrificed much for our country, they (and their families) often suffer from mental health issues following their service. Too often, these health conditions go unaddressed.
The numbers are telling:
- 30 percent of active duty and reserve military personnel deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan have a mental health condition requiring treatment.
- Fewer than 50 percent of returning veterans receive mental health treatment.
- Approximately 20 veterans die from suicide every day.
- Risk for suicide was 22 percent higher among Veterans when compared to U.S. non-Veteran adults.
Resources for Veterans
Fortunately, there are a lot of great resources available to help, including:
- www.mentalhealth.va.gov– To learn more about the issue of Veteran suicide as well as VA mental health resources and find the latest national and state-level research.
- MakeTheConnection.net-explore information on mental health issues and hear stories from Veterans who have faced challenges, including post-traumatic stress disorder, substance use problems, transitioning from service, and more.
- VeteransCrisisLine.net – Veterans who are in crisis or having thoughts of suicide, and those who know a Veteran in crisis, can call the Veterans Crisis Line for confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Call 800-273-8255 and press 1, chat online or text to 838255.
- To find local Veterans resources near you, visit here.
Resources for Family and Friends of Veterans
Family members and friends play a critical role in a Veteran’s life, especially during difficult times. There are resources available to help you, too:
- Coaching Into Care – This VA program provides guidance for helping family members encourage their Veterans to get on a better track. Free, confidential assistance is available by calling 1-888-823-7458 or emailing CoachingIntoCare@va.gov.
- VA Caregiver Support – The VA Caregiver Support Program offers training, educational resources, and a variety of tools to help you succeed. Call the Caregiver Support Line at 855–260–3274 for advice on being a caregiver.
- National Center for PTSD: Help for Family and Friends – The National Center for PTSD provides information about the effects of Veterans’ trauma on their families, children, relationships, and communities, as well as resources and support to help Veterans and their family members and friends to respond and cope with those effects.
Remember to thank the veterans in your life. The biggest thank you of all is letting them know you care, and that includes caring about their mental well-being.
Veteran, or not, if you or someone you know is experiencing signs of distress, please reach out to a mental health professional or get confidential, free support and text LOOKUP to 494949.
If you live in Indiana and need help finding a behavioral health provider, visit Find Help or call (800) 284-8439.
Start the conversation. Silence the Stigma.