Supporting Our Veterans: A Look Into What They Need The Most
Veterans Day is a time where we remember and thank those who served in the armed forces. Although our words of gratitude and appreciation are well-received, there are still many ways we can help our veterans achieve a better quality of life. Take a look at some of their utmost needs after their life in the military.
November 11 was commemorated as Veterans Day, which marked the end of World War I. It is celebrated to honor our armed forces—those who sacrificed their time, effort, and lives to fulfill their mission.
Although we hold much respect and reverence for our veterans, it is undeniable that our former armed forces have urgent needs, especially once out of the military. Whether they left for retirement or were discharged for various reasons, it is crucial to bring awareness and understand their needs to reintegrate into civilian living.
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
The effects of combat, work related-stress, and all other unique challenges of military life can bring a host of mental health and substance abuse problems to our veterans. A deeper look into data revealed that former military personnel are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, PTSD, and substance abuse than their civilian counterparts.
Those highly vulnerable are veterans who have witnessed and experienced violence or death in combat, which is likely to happen when military members are deployed in high-conflict areas.
Thus, it is essential for the government—and other sectors—to bring in resources to help our veterans’ mental health and substance abuse issues. These can include:
- Comprehensive insurance coverage of mental health and substance abuse treatment.
- Increased access to both online and in-person counseling and therapy sessions.
- Training healthcare professionals to recognize signs of mental health and substance abuse disorders.
- Increased collaborations across healthcare teams to address mental health and substance abuse concerns.
Another initiative that should take priority among giving back to the veterans is providing them meaningful employment after their service in the military. Life in the armed forces is very different from civilian living. Those who are discharged or retired may have other conditions or expectations when looking for another career. In addition, recent studies show that veterans face unique challenges when seeking a job outside the military due to the differences in education and experience.
It is good that there are various programs created by the Department of Labor and other nonprofits to assist veterans in gaining employment. Companies that would like to support veterans should focus on the following areas:
- Training veterans to gain knowledge and skills that are useful in their career choices.
- Assisting in building resumes, creating referrals, and practicing interviews.
- Offering “veterans’ preference” positions that are solely filled by former military members, giving them an advantage in applications
Aside from prioritizing our veterans’ health and employment opportunities, we can also improve their quality of life by providing community support. Of course, it can be easy to say that the government is already doing its part in providing programs, discounts, and other perks to help our former military members. Still, if we want them to feel even more seen and heard, we can also participate in our community to support veterans.
If you own a business—or are interested in volunteering—you can:
- Voluntarily provide military discounts for active-duty members and veterans.
- Help create events for veterans or fundraisers for military families.
- Focus on mentoring and counseling former and active military members.
Whether you take on a leadership role or simply want to participate, everybody can make a difference by volunteering or spearheading such support for the veterans in your community.
Remembering Our Veterans: Providing Our Active Gratitude
Military members and veterans are used to hearing people say “thank you for your service,” but actions can go a long way. By being aware of our veterans’ needs and responding to them, we can all take part in improving their lives. This way, gratitude can be felt through our actions.
A Message From Our CEO
Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.
Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.