I am not fond of assumptions, because they are usually wrong, and drive ineffective decisions.
However, one assumption I make is that (almost) all humans have the inherent trait of springing into action to help someone who is facing a life-threatening situation.
When it comes to mental health and veteran survival though, there are gaps. Since mental health doesn’t always look like a life-threatening situation, most of us don’t spring into action to help. Could this be because there’s a gap in education and understanding from those who want to help but don’t know how – or worse, can’t see when a person needs or even asks for help?
Helping requires effort, and most of us will undoubtedly engage and try, but there still is a gap. Why?
As a society, I believe we have a moral obligation to support our veterans who have sacrificed so much in service to our country. However, transitioning from military to civilian life can be difficult and traumatic, leading to mental health challenges such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety. The need for a continuum of care approach for veteran mental health is crucial and requires everyone’s effort.
The statement “Help means help and help requires effort” is particularly relevant regarding veteran transition and mental health approaches. It highlights that receiving help is not just a matter of providing resources and services but it also requires effort from veterans and their support networks.
One of the biggest challenges in supporting veterans is creating a continuum of care that meets their needs at every stage of the transition process. This requires a coordinated effort from various stakeholders, including government agencies, healthcare providers, and community organizations. These groups need to work together to develop a comprehensive approach that addresses the unique needs of each veteran.
The first step in building a continuum of care is to identify the needs and challenges of veterans during the transition process, such as finding employment, securing housing, accessing healthcare, and more importantly, learning the dynamics of reintegration and the loss of purpose associated with taking off the uniform. Once these needs and dynamics have been identified, the next step is to develop a plan that addresses these challenges.
The plan should include various support services, such as counseling, employment assistance, and housing support. Civilian employers need training to better understand what veterans’ strengths and challenges can be. The plan needs to include resources for family members and caregivers who may also be struggling with the transition.
Providing support services is only one aspect of building a continuum of care. We must also ensure that these services are accessible and effective, which requires ongoing evaluation and monitoring to identify areas where improvements can be made.
It is also essential to recognize that receiving help requires effort from veterans and their support networks. Veterans must be willing to engage with their support services and actively work toward their goals. Family members and caregivers must also be involved in the process and be willing to provide ongoing support.
“Help means help, and help requires effort” is crucial when supporting veterans during the transition. Building a continuum of care that meets the unique needs of each veteran requires a coordinated effort from a range of stakeholders, and it requires ongoing evaluation and monitoring to ensure that the services provided are effective. Ultimately, it is up to all of us to work together to support our veterans and ensure that they receive the care and support they need to thrive.