Veterans can experience a range of challenging emotions when armed conflict arises — no matter where in the world it happens. The Veterans Administration’s Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention recommends these coping strategies:
- Engage in positive, healthy activities that are rewarding, meaningful or enjoyable, even if you don’t feel like it.
- Spend time with people who give you a sense of security, calm and/or happiness, or those who best understand what you are going through.
- Practice good self-care. Engage in soothing activities, such as listening to music, exercising, practicing breathing routines, spending time in nature or with animals, journaling or reading inspirational materials.
- Stick to routines and follow a schedule for sleeping, eating, working, and other day-to-day activities.
- Limit media exposure, especially if it increases your distress.
- Use a VA mobile app.
- Try PTSD Coach Online, a series of online videos that will guide you through 17 tools to help you manage stress.
Prolonged distress or an inability to function well, might be a sign that professional help is warranted. Consider seeking support from these sources:
- Every VA facility has mental health specialists. To find a provider nearest you, visit the VA website.
- Talk about your reactions in community-based VA Vet Centers, Call 1-800-WAR-VETS.
- Go to Make The Connection, an online resource designed to connect Veterans, their family members and friends, and other supporters with information, resources and solutions to issues affecting their lives — including challenging life events or experiences and mental health issues.
- If you feel as if you might hurt yourself or someone else, reach out now for confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Call the Veterans Crisis Line, 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1. Text 838255 or chat online.
Public health reporting is made possible by a grant from the Marion County Public Health Department.