Veterans hold a sacred place in our country for their ability to keep us safe and the sacrifices they’ve made. Celebrating and spreading awareness for veterans helps veterans obtain employment, seek mental health services, and feel supported and included in American life.
Veterans Day observes all veterans, living or deceased, that have honorably served in the United States Armed Forces. In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially renamed Armistice Day to Veterans Day as the world was still reeling from the effects of both the major world wars. Other major world countries, like Britain, France, Australia, and Canada all have their own holidays or national remembrance days for veterans as well, usually in the month of November, to honor those who fought in the first world war among others.
Veterans Day is a chance for Americans to come together in solidarity for those who have served the country. It is a national celebration of honor, remembrance, compassion, and understanding. It allows Americans to express their gratitude as soldiers fight to protect freedoms both domestically and internationally. However, veterans usually end up experiencing long term mental health issues after their service, which is another reason to honor them, support them, and recognize their sacrifices. This is something we can do year round – not just on Veterans Day.
War is incredibly, if not the most, emotionally, physically, and mentally vulnerable situation any person can be in. Death, sexual assault, and violence are abundant. War is incredibly psychologically wounding for those who experience it, whether it’s civilians or soldiers. It can lead to long term psychological damage. Those who had no prior history of mental health issues can return from service with PTSD, anxiety disorders, severe depression, sleep disorders, relationship issues, or substance abuse.
Due to the violent and harrowing nature of war, the following mental health issues affect veterans:
Celebrating Veterans doesn’t have to be complicated. Showing up and donating are wonderful ways to give back to. You can even volunteer at events in your community to prepare food, beverages, or goodie baskets. You can donate to charity organizations that focus their efforts on veterans’ wellbeing. You can also uplift the voices of veterans by listening to them while they share their stories.
One of the best ways you can help honor veterans is to help increase awareness or education about the dire mental health issues that plague former service members. This can be done by educating yourself or a loved one and getting involved. On Veterans Day and every day, don’t be afraid to extend a little gratitude and compassion!
Here at Dr. Messina and Associates, our compassionate team of professionals are qualified to help you at our Flower Mound, Texas, and Southlake, Texas, offices. Our Psychologists, Psychiatrists, and Counselors specialize in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psychological testing, and medication management for a variety of emotional and behavioral health needs. All services are available in-person and online (telehealth). If you or a loved one are seeking help with mental health, we are here to help.