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Monday, May 28, 2012

Honor Veterans By Learning

Statue, Three Servicemen, Vietnam Veterans Mem...
Statue, Three Servicemen, Vietnam Veterans Memorial (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In the past we have written about Veterans. Learning about Veterans and their mental health needs is an ongoing process. Recently Hope by the Sea participated in the Freedom and Recovery Conference which focused on "integrated mental health and addiction treatment for service members."  Learning about Veterans' mental health and physical needs is one way to honor our Veterans, applying what we learn is the next step.

First, let's talk about some facts, as reported on May 27, 2012, by the Associated Press:
  • To date, 1,615,136 troops have left active duty and are now Veterans since the Iraq and Afghanistan wars began.
  • Many of these survivors have serious injuries.
  • Thousands continue to suffer from what is called traumatic brain injury (TBI).
  • More than half of new veterans who seek care are diagnosed with a mental disorder, including post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.

One of the most startling statistics is that 18 Veterans commit suicide every day. That is one every 80 minutes.  We would like to share a video with you that discusses in depth issues faced by Veterans who return with injuries, both visible and invisible. Here is Nicholas Kristof, columnist for the New York Times, being interviewed by "Viewpoint" host Eliot Spitzer.

This Memorial Day honor our Veterans by learning more about what they have sacrificed for our country. Take time to reach out and not just say thanks, but pay attention to their silent cries for help.

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