We recently lost another Veteran to suicide. A much needed spotlight was put on VA’s need to provide care to every Veteran who seeks it, but the question remains: How do we make it okay for Veterans suffering with PTSD to reach out and ask for help?
From birth as a Soldier, we are trained to “embrace the suck.” Ruck up and move on. While serving, we rarely seek help for fear of ending a career. As a Veteran, we read headlines about “crazy” Veterans with PTSD. Many do not want that stigma attached to them.
First called a disorder, then attributed to anger and a problem for Veterans at large, it is no wonder that mental illness is not tended to by the individual, even when that care is available.
There is no shortage of homes in America, yet we have a homeless population. Is it that we are battling the wrong issue? I believe homelessness, like suicide, is about mental health, not access.
We all play a part in seeking care for ourselves, for our families and for our Veterans. If you are a Veteran or a Provider, take the stigma away from PTSD. There is no shame in seeking help, care or whatever we want to call it. As soldiers and as Veterans we know as well as anyone that the chain is only as strong as the weakest link. We are a team, and any loss belongs to us all. So reach out to Veterans and make sure they are doing well. Talk to them about serious concerns and make sure they are seeking care, at VA or anywhere.
There shouldn’t be a stigma associated with seeking treatment.
For this reason, VA is working to change the stigma of PTSD and make sure every Veteran has access to quality care and is not shy about using it. To join us in spreading the word about Mental Health care at VA, and making a real difference in the lives of Veterans, learn more and apply today at VAcareers.va.gov.
If you’re a Veteran in crisis or know a Veteran who is, click here or call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1. To learn more about available resources for those suffering with PTSD and other mental illness, click here.