In Honor of Veteran's Day, Here's How Our Servicemen And Women Can Get The Help They Need

Care For Your Mind | Michelle R. Kees, PhD | November 1st, 2016

[Excerpt] On November 11th, our country will pause to celebrate a courageous, resilient group of men and women—our nation’s Veterans. In the words of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Day is a day to honor these heroes for “their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.”

As they return home from foreign conflict, these men and women deserve to succeed and thrive in their civilian lives, but may need physical, mental, and/or emotional support in order to do so.

On this important holiday, we wanted to share information about some of the challenges Veterans are facing as they make the transition to life at home—and the programs that are in place to help them.

The Numbers

Nearly 2.8 million military service members have been deployed in military actions since 9/11/2001, and more than 50,000 of those have been wounded in combat. In addition, more than 500,000 have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injury.

Many returning Veterans need help, support, and resources to regain their health, both mentally and physically. And it’s not just health care—they may need assistance navigating their benefits, finding housing, understanding the legal system, and/or entering higher education.

Unfortunately, many Veterans are reluctant to seek care due to concerns about stigma and perceived military norms. Overcoming these hurdles is challenging, but the use of peers—connecting with someone else who is a Veteran—is a novel way to break down these barriers.