Social Justice Towards War Veterans

Mental health is a major health problem that military community faces. Beyond physical injuries, veterans tend to be affected by all kinds of mental disorders such as psychological and psychiatric. As a result, those traumatic disorders turned these people with brain damage such as disorder post-traumatic stress, depression, addictions to alcohol and drugs and in the worst cases in suicides when they returning to their previous lives. It is very difficult for many veterans to live a normal life after they return to the country, that’s why helping men and women who have served to the country is one of the most important priorities of the Government.

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Veterans experience higher rates of mental health concerns than nonveterans. Suicide risk is almost four times higher in the veteran population than in nonveterans. A major issue affecting mental health outcomes faced by transitioning veterans is community reintegration. In military populations that have been studied since the deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, it has been observed that members of the military return to their homes are less likely to attend health appointments for mental health needs compared to physical health needs.

A significant group of individual that abandons military service is diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. A special edition of Healthcare presents original articles that explore a variety of topics related to the relationship between mental health and risk-taking behaviors of veterans engaged in clinical mental health services. One of them was a reported that veterans have a high rate of risk-taking driving above the speed limit, illicit drug use, and negative alterations in mood and behaviors. Also, examined the associations between anger, aggression. Both anger and aggression were observed to be more prevalent in veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. Veterans who were arrested but before being found guilty were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder were more likely to be referred for treatment, than those whose diagnosis was made after being found guilty.

This research could have important implications for those veterans involved in the judicial system who are also experiencing mental health difficulties. The reason for this research was carried out to review a variety of different treatments to demonstrate the effectiveness, or not, of the current support for veterans with PTSD. As a negative result of these support programs for veterans with PTSD, they only focus only on reducing the symptoms of PTSD, however, they do not offer support for incorporation into society. (Understanding the Needs of Veterans with PTSD, 2018)

The suicide crisis among soldiers and veterans of the United States Armed Forces in 2012 had surpassed the total of those killed in the battle, an average of 22 to day-about 8000 a year. The nation’s military troops are taking their lives at record numbers. Some statistics help to understand what happens. Although more than 69% of veterans who kill themselves are over 50 years old, in recent years the suicide rate has risen by 44% for those between 18 and 24 years old. Which points to the possibility that psychiatric drug prescription has side effects including possible addiction, in the increased aggression and suicidal thinking to those who had difficult military domestic violence, child abuse, and sex crimes, as well as self-harm. (THE HIDDEN ENEMY, 2013)

Due to the barriers that service members and their families faced to the care of mental health treatment, in 2014 positive changes was made as a prevention and intervention strategies for veterans by the Department of Defense. The concern was regarding mental health access associated with seeking assistance for mental and behavioral health care. Therefore, the American Nurses Association partnered with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Joining Forces campaign. The objective is dedicated to calling attention to and addressing critical issues facing veterans and military families. Despite positive changes in prevention and intervention strategies, there are barriers such as personal, social and economic, that interfere in the care of mental health treatment for service members and their families. To mention some example; some are not prepared to talk about traumatic events, fear of prejudice and discrimination, or even believe that problems will disappear over time. Transportation problems or financial resources issues. Concerns about command assess to mental health records and security clearance policy. Another method that has been implemented to abolish these special social barriers is that military leaders for their members in service have set the responsible to sends the message that seeking treatment when necessary is good. (The Journal for Nurse Practitioners Continuing Education Credit Application, 2014)

Following these are the new programs instituted in all services for veterans to improve functional performance that has been effective. The US Army has committed an organization by guiding military, community leaders, as well as peers, to identify high-risk behaviors and to call on to assist with primary prevention of behavioral health problems. At the same time encourage individuals the use of mental health services when they experience trouble coping with stress caused by separation, deployments, financial pressures, and other work or relationship issues. Army leadership established a Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness program. A similar program has been created by the US Air Force called the Comprehensive Airman Fitness program. Also, the Navy establishes the Combat and Operational Stress Control program. All these programs were created with the same objective, putt mental fitness on the same level as physical fitness to promote positive behaviors in caring, committing, connecting, and communicating. Meanwhile, the Marines have instituted “caring for friends.” This program focuses on the reduction of substance abuse to promote connections with others, for the mental health needs of their members in services. (The Journal for Nurse Practitioners Continuing Education Credit Application, 2014)

Brain injuries can be extremely serious. This problem is not only directly related to veterans in the war, but also to immediate family members. Family support greatly influences on veterans to face new struggle. It is very important to have a lot of affection, and patience because sadness and anger is part of the process of adaptation to a new beginning of life to them. Years to decades can pass before a service member seeks professional help for psychological problems. That why it is important to emphasize that to obtain better results it is not enough with the efforts of the campaigns of the support programs that have been very effective in the last years by the Department of Defense. It is also very important the support of family and friends motivating them to recruit to these programs to all those who present symptoms of insomnia, nightmares, restlessness; abuse of the use of alcohol or drug, depression, insomnia, everything that leads to a malfunction and integration to the community and their mental health well-being.

The government has made a serious effort to provide adequate programs and services to the veterans of our nation. These programs are very important, help veterans with new strategies to learn to identify and control their anger and frustration. In addition, gives them a hope for a new beginning of civil life and family, and finding support in the community. Therefore, it is everyone’s job to help our veterans in their process of their social rehabilitation as a community.

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Social Justice Towards War Veterans. (2019, Mar 22). Retrieved October 4, 2022 , from
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