Veterans Day


Every November we honor our veterans in this country, many of whom suffer from serious mental health conditions. Many commit suicide, have depression, substance abuse problems, traumatic brain injuries, and anxiety, not to mention physical problems. According to the National Center for PTSD, 5.2 million veterans suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (Source: http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/index.asp). I find it very sad how few veterans with mental health problems can get timely help from the VA centers in our country. Our own county, Los Angeles, is one among a few other places where veterans have to wait over two weeks to get treatment for their problems. Given how much these men and women have sacrificed to their country, it seems that quality mental health care should be available on demand. Sadly, however, many veterans that I have talked to cite distrust as one reason they stay away from the VA Centers. This begs the question, what is the solution? It is a complicated problem, I believe, for political and financial reasons, not to mention the very nature of PTSD itself. Many people with PTSD, combat-related or not, have an extremely hard time trusting other people. When they do reach out for help, they need to feel that they can rely on those who provide it to be consistent, caring and professional. I hope that we can improve our service delivery to our veterans, as well as to all US citizens, so that more people can get the help they need when they need it. Perhaps if more people receive treatment early and effectively, the need for interpersonal violence and war will decrease someday.

One thought on “Veterans Day

  1. I feel the last people who should be waiting in line for ANYTHING are people who stepped up to the plate to defend their homeland! It is an outrage that so many come home with medical condition, homelessness, hunger, joblessness…THIS IS HOW WE TREAT OUR HEROES? America, WAKE UP! Unplug those gadgets and engage in the real world around you. We must help these men and women take their rightful places in society BEFORE ourselves.

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