America and the Federal government have a responsibility to provide for our mentally ill Veterans. It is appalling that we are failing to provide the counseling and mental healthcare for our military, often due to bureaucracy. They have honorably served our country!
First returning Vets may be unaware of the mental health services available to them.
Second, there are a high percentage of returning Vets suffering with PTSD. The definition of PTSD is “…painful guilt feelings about surviving when others did not survive or about the things they had to do to survive…resulting in psychic numbing or emotional anesthesia after a traumatic event…Avoidance patterns may interfere with interpersonal relationships and lead to marital conflict, divorce, or loss of job”. Therefore, the very support system of family, they need, to reduce emotional feelings leads to diminished responsiveness to the external world.
Third, the increase in suicide is not surprising given the fact that there is a high percentage of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that when untreated may result in depression and suicide without counseling or psychological help.
Another evidence-based treatment for PTSD is via Telemental health and is indicated to be as effective as face-to-face-therapy (National Center for PTSD).
Life Consultants Tele-health system offers access of healthcare professions to work with individuals or groups of up to eight online through their home computer, laptop or IPad who share similar situations in mental heath disorders. This offers the patient the benefit of accessing a psychologist or mental health professional at the time they are experiencing depression or anxiety in the privacy of their home without having to make an office appointment. It is particularly convenient for those living in rural areas.
The advantage of group therapy is the ability to talk to people, who also have been through trauma and PTSD. Sharing your story with others may help the individual feel more comfortable talking about their trauma. This can help them cope with their symptoms, memories, and other parts of their life. “You learn to deal with emotions such as shame, guilt, anger, rage, and fear. Sharing with the group also can help you build self-confidence and trust. You’ll learn to focus on your present life, rather than feeling overwhelmed by the past.” http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/pages/treatment-ptsd.asp