Mental health is a crucial aspect of overall health, and it is especially important for veterans and first responders who are subjected to high levels of stress and trauma on a regular basis. Recent statistics show that these groups face higher rates of mental health issues such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety. However, it’s not all bad news! There are many ways that veterans and first responders can improve their mental health and cope with stress. Read on to learn about statistics and methods that the veterans and first responders in your life can use to improve and maintain mental health.
- The 2022 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report states that in 2020, suicide was the 13th leading cause of death among Veterans overall, and it was the second leading cause of death among veterans under age 45.
- According to the CDC, studies have found that between 17% and 24% of public safety telecommunicators have symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and 24% have symptoms of depression.
- The National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) annually compiles the list of jobs with highest suicide rates. Police officers rank third on that list.
Hope on the Horizon
Providing options to support veterans and first responders cope with stress and improve their mental health is critical to battling these statistics. At Heroes on the Water, we provide kayaking and fishing excursions because our participants experience a combination of tranquility and community bonding that can improve mental and physical health and lead to overall healing.
There are many different ways to improve mental health. Here are five options for veterans and first responders to consider:
While the statistics on suicide and mental health among veterans and first responders may be alarming, it is important to remember that there are resources available to help these groups cope with stress and improve their mental health. By seeking professional help, joining a supportive community, practicing self-care, seeking out social support, and considering alternative therapies, veterans and first responders can take control of their mental health and build a healthier and more fulfilling future.
I suffer from PTSD and anger management issues. I have received hell through the VA as well as friends and family. I have just recently been diagnosed with other issues that may have caused issues while serving. I thank my friends and family for the help and assistance. The VA has been a big part of dealing with my issues. Bottom line, there is help out there. DO NOT be afraid to ask for help. We (military, first responders, and medical professionals) are all a family that can and needs to look out for each other!
Thank you Mike for sharing your journey of healing with us!