This Veterans Day provides an opportune time to focus on veterans’ mental health issues.
As the U.S. ended its 20-year war in Afghanistan earlier this year, many veterans were left with mixed feelings. While many were glad that no other Americans would be sent over, many are left to wonder if their sacrifice was worth it. And for far too many, the emotions surrounding the withdrawal triggered PTSD and thoughts on suicide. The risk of veterans not addressing these issues and dealing with the many thoughts and feelings brought to the surface is potentially deadly.
There are many resources available for veterans, including:
Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes
National Veterans Foundation
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Military One Source
In addition, many ACCP member companies are committed to ensuring military veterans and their families receive the services and care they need.
- USAA has launched The Military Family Relief Initiative, contributing $30 million to assist veterans and their families affected by the COVID crisis.
- Starbucks’ Military Family Stores provide places for military families to meet and connect and are staffed primarily by veterans and their families. The company plans to dedicate 100 more stores in the U.S. by 2022.
- UnitedHealth Group partners with the Department of Defense SkillBridge Program and provides career skills training through its Military Fellowship program.
- AIG partners with Move United (formerly Disabled Sports USA), an organization specifically created to support veterans through physical sports.
We are also honored to share suggestions on focus areas from ACCP member and military veteran Daniel Goldenberg of Activision Blizzard:
Stick with the Specialists. While some non-profits have a big brand, look to organizations focused on clinically proven modalities at scale.
Cohen Veteran Network for overall veteran mental health. They offer free, holistic mental health clinic access for veterans AND their families, and they use their therapeutic learnings to drive further clinical innovation in the space. https://www.cohenveteransnetwork.org/
Atlanta’s Shepherd Brain Center to focus on traumatic brain injury (TBI). A fellow funder in the veteran space who leads one of the most extensive grant programs focused on this issue (and is himself a TBI survivor/combat veteran) supports the groundbreaking research going on here. https://www.shepherd.org/patient-programs/brain-injury.
Stop Soldier Suicide to help prevent veteran suicide. Indications are that the rate is much higher than the 17 per day the V.A. currently acknowledges. To learn more, review the truly leading, data-driven intervention this group is conducting: https://stopsoldiersuicide.org/
Boulder Crest Retreat, to help veterans get beyond Post-traumatic Stress, focusing on post-traumatic growth instead. They run an immersive, holistic program with proven clinical results that are transforming PTS treatment. https://bouldercrest.org/
Are you a corporation looking to do more for military veterans and their families? The Blue Star Families Corporate Citizens Playbook is also a great place to start.
Finally, we at ACCP would like to recognize and thank all veterans and their families for the sacrifices they make to keep our country safe.