Veterans and Mental Health Issues: Understanding, Seeking Help and Health
Veterans face a unique set of mental health challenges, from the stresses of long deployments and financial struggles to the issues associated with adjusting to civilian life. It’s essential for veterans to understand their mental health challenges, seek help, and maintain their physical and mental wellbeing.
Understanding Mental Health Issues in Veterans
Veterans may experience changes in behavior, physical decline, and mental health challenges related to traumatic experiences during their active duty. Common mental health challenges in veterans include:
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Substance abuse
- Suicidal thoughts
Veterans may also struggle with adjusting to civilian life and readjustment challenges, such as difficulty in maintaining personal relationships, finding a job, or managing finances.
Seeking Help for Mental Health Issues
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides a range of resources to veterans who need mental health care. Veterans can access these resources through the VA or private providers. The following resources can help veterans manage mental health issues:
- Mental Health Programs and Services: The VA provides mental health services, including counseling, support groups, and mental health assessments through the VA Health Care System.
- TeleMental Health: The VA provides virtual mental health services to veterans through its TeleMental Health programs, which offers video chats, phone consultations, and secure messaging.
- Mobile Apps: The VA offers a number of free mobile apps designed to help veterans manage mental health issues.
Veterans should speak to their healthcare provider if they feel like they need help with mental health issues.
Maintaining Health and Wellness
Veterans can also maintain their physical and mental wellbeing by pursuing healthy lifestyle habits, such as:
- Eating a healthy diet
- Exercising regularly
- Getting enough sleep
- Managing stress
- Finding purpose
- Engaging in hobbies
- Practicing relaxation techniques
- Spending time with family and friends
Veterans should also seek support from family, friends, or fellow veterans through support groups, programs, and organizations.
Veterans face a range of mental health challenges related to deployment, returning to civilian life, and traumatic experiences. It’s important for veterans to understand their mental health issues, seek help, and practice healthy lifestyle habits in order to maintain their physical and mental wellbeing.
Veterans, mental health, PTSD, depression, anxiety, help, health, Department of Veterans Affairs, VA, wellness.