Returning to civilian life after serving in the military can be challenging for many people. Serving to protect our country places a person in unique situations that can be stressful, traumatic, difficult to forget, and often different from what most civilians experience in a lifetime. Some veterans who return home may find it easy to cope and reintegrate into daily life, but others can find it difficult to relate to other people, share feelings and difficult memories, and develop networks and support to help heal their physical and emotional wounds. Sometimes even asking for help can feel like an insurmountable barrier to face.
Numerous research studies on the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder and adjustment to trauma related issues indicate that increased social support, time with loved ones, and community involvement are all positive indicators of success. Furthermore, the act of one Veteran helping another Veteran substantially increases both people’s success in overcoming struggles as each person feels empowered, needed, and accomplished as communities build and strengthen. While the Veterans Affairs office does provide counseling and rehabilitation services, there are myriad options available outside of the VA as well. These groups can offer spectacular accommodations and ideas for how Veterans can get involved in their local and national community and work toward their good health.
Because NW Family Psychology is part of a community closely linked with the military, it seems important to highlight the ways that everyone- veterans, families, and neighbors, can get involved in programs that help support veterans, utilize the unique experience and training of returning service people, and build stronger communities. The list is long, but a few places to start looking include:
1. Team River Runner, a nonprofit that provides instruction and resources for becoming a whitewater kayaker.
2. Team Rubicon, a group that provides training and employment for veterans.
3. Wounded Warriors Project, a nationwide advocacy and support group. These organizations are here to help through sharing stories, getting active, giving back, and building community.
Sam Kane, MA has a special interest in assessing and supporting veterans in their effort to get back on the road to recovery.
Sam Kane, MA is available for consultation and counseling regarding such issues.
Call 360-692-3970 to schedule an appointment.