There are a great number of things that our nation’s service members sacrifice for our freedom, but the sacrifices some of us do not often see is their time with family and friends, the state of their mental and physical health, and sometimes their lives.
When someone serves in the military, they experience challenges and circumstances that are unique to those who serve. There is a vast disconnect between the lives of those who have served and those who haven’t. “Only two percent of our entire population serves in the military, and that means 98% of the population has limited first-hand knowledge about that unique experience,” says Anna Goletz, Manager of Clinical Services at Centerstone.
Veterans and military service members experience similar mental health challenges just like anyone else. They can have depression, anxiety, relationship issues, a sense of loss and grief. Though veterans and service members have similar mental health challenges. They also experience things unique to their service like adjustment challenges, moral injury (life or death situations often requiring you to perform your job regardless of your personal moral code), and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
According to studies, less than 50 percent of veterans with mental health needs receive treatment. Further, some veterans and service members are met with barriers in seeking or receiving treatment due to cultural setbacks. Not being culturally competent in caring for veterans or those on active duty is detrimental to their treatment. “If someone has no idea about military experience, it only pushes veterans further away by creating a barrier or disconnect to their care,” says Goletz.
There’s another cultural belief in the military about being strong and self-sufficient, but it’s important to know that it’s always okay to ask for help. Here are a couple of ways to keep other veterans and military members in your life informed:
Centerstone’s Military Services are available nationally through a network of more than 1,200 providers across the country. We provide counseling and mental health treatment to any veteran, active duty service members, and military family members regardless of era served or discharge status. If you or someone you know is struggling with life after service, Centerstone can help. Call 1-877-HOPE123 (1-877-467-3123) for more information.
If you are in crisis, please call our crisis line, call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.
If you're still having trouble and would like to reach out to someone about counseling or other Centerstone services, contact us.
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