On a day in which many of us are filled with feelings of overwhelming gratitude towards our veterans, it’s important that we stop to say “thank you”. An enormous way in which our medical system can say thank you, is to better treat their psychological health when they’re deployed and when they return home.
Cognitive behavioral “talk therapy” is critical for many returning soldiers’ mental health. I have never served in the war zone, but I can imagine upon returning home that I would have a great deal of emotional trauma to unload. This kind of behavioral counseling services help combat veterans readjust to civilian life at home after returning from deployments.
I can’t imagine the psychological burden of carrying around images of horrific things that they may have witnessed. Being able to simply talk about it and reframe their past in a healthy manner can literally be life-saving.
Sadly, there are more than 6000 veteran suicide each year. Further, between 10 and 20% of returning veterans suffer from significant symptoms of PTSD. A lack of support and connection to others is probably the greatest risk factor for these unfortunate events upon returning home.
Let’s start talking.