Americans celebrate Memorial Day by giving homage to those who protected and continue to protect the country from war. However, some often overlook mental health problems among veterans.
Research says that veterans coming home commit suicide at a rate of 20 per day. Because of this, Tournesol Wellness, Operation Warrior Shield and Anne Akers, the director of Veteran Services partnered to launch VETWELL, a program which provides alternative therapy methods to address the most common conditions faced by veterans.
Service members witnessed and underwent situations where they have to make difficult decisions. These decisions usually have lifelong consequences. These veterans have also experienced trauma and are battling to forget these scarring memories.
However, coping strategies proved to be counterproductive. The trauma they suffered usually leads to family discord, divorce, substance use, employment difficulty and other problems surrounding them and the people with whom they socialize.
Around 80 percent of service members wanted their families to be involved in their recovery process. This is because they usually feel isolated from their families or feel alone during deployment.
Not only are the service members feeling the effects but also their spouses. The spouses left alone at home would have to take full responsibility for taking care of the children and family finances.
Post-deployment families also experience various family problems such as domestic abuse, marital and sexual issues, depression and sleep disturbance. The spouse would also have to learn how to deal with their children’s behavior caused by the absence of the deployed parent.
From 2006 to 2010, 2.1 million service members received mental health assistance from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Active duty service members and veterans face obstacles to the betterment of their psychological health.
These include personal embarrassment about service-related mental disabilities, extended wait times to receive mental health assistance, feeling ashamed about receiving these kinds of services, the stigma associated with seeking help, and the fear of the perception of weakness.
The VETWELL program is a no-cost approach to address PTSD, anxiety, and other health concerns among veterans. It includes a Holistic Health Review, vibroacoustic sound therapy, yoga classes, community acupuncture, and workshops addressed to the service members.
The vibroacoustic treatment is a significant factor in reducing pain among veterans, with 50 percent of those undergoing the program feeling a decrease in pain and other symptoms.