A Losing Battle? Mental Health in Veterans.

BY: Laura Pinzón | Neighbors’ Consejo|

Every year, on November 11, we observe Veterans Day. America pays tribute to all her veterans, living or not, who served honorably during peacetime or wartime. We must remember that for combat veterans, their sacrifices can carry not only physical, but also mental health consequences.

Situations as reliving events, avoiding people who could remind them of a traumatic event, closing off relationships they have, living with anger or loneliness and even having suicidal thoughts, are some of the most serious symptoms in the mental health of these veterans.

The National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics registered more than 19 million veterans [1] of which 11% reported high levels of depression. From depression, dramatic situations such as anxiety or Posttraumatic Stress disorder (PTSD) arise. Research shows that 5.6% of more than 300,000 veterans with these symptoms experienced homelessness within one year of being referred to treatment.

On the other hand, according to the National Council for Mental Wellbeing[2] , approximately 730,000 people who served as soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan experienced PTSD and severe depression. In addition, The Veterans Administration reported that 22 veterans die each day from suicide.

The numbers matter because they demonstrate the seriousness of mental health among veterans, of whom less than 50%, according to The National Council for Mental Wellbeing[3] , still do not receive mental health care.

However, organizations like the U.S. Department of Veterans[4]  Affairs, U.S. Vets[5] , or the Military Crisis Line[6]  can be solutions to support veterans in these matters, for free. You can also contact Neighbors’ Consejo. Veteran, the battle is now within yourself, you can overcome the issues that affect your well-being.

References

 [1] https://www.va.gov/vetdata/

 [2] https://www.thenationalcouncil.org/topics/veterans/

 [3] https://www.thenationalcouncil.org/topics/veterans/

 [4] https://www.va.gov/health-care/health-needs-conditions/mental-health/

 [5] https://usvets.org/how-we-serve/mental-health-and-wellness/

 [6] https://www.veteranscrisisline.net/get-help/military-crisis-line

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