Veterans Deserve Mental Health Care, Advocacy

Emma Buuck

A United States veteran (name redacted for confidentiality) was in the middle of walking his dog when he heard his neighbor slam their car door shut. This one sound brought him back to times of when he went to war. He remembered hearing those shots firing at him, the helicopter buzzing overhead, looking around to see the horror on his friends face as they feared that they wouldn’t come home alive.

This is a soldier suffering from PTSD or post traumatic stress disorder.

He decided to seek medical attention for his PTSD to only have to wait months for an appointment at the VA. Every day his symptoms got worse and worse until he found relief from his pain in the way of suicide.

PTSD is caused by a traumatic event that has happened in someone’s life and is triggered by certain sounds, voices, and even by something as simple as a car door slamming shut. With PTSD, veterans often suffer from depression, alcohol abuse, and anxiety. Many veterans are not be treated for their mental illnesses because of how much the VA is underfunded in this area.

According to the National Veterans Foundation, only 50% of veterans who need mental help, are receiving it. These are because of many reasons such as long wait times at the VA hospital, shame from seeking treatment, and the biggest being the concerns about the mental help that is being provided at the VA.

Those veterans who are suffering from mental illness are not being advocated for. This leads to 17 veterans committing suicide every day as reported by the National Veterans Foundation.

Veterans like the man above fought for our country only to come back to a medical system that is way underfunded and overpopulated. This is why there should be more funding that goes to the VA hospitals by fundraisers and donations made by people like you. This way, the VA can get the equipment and doctors that our veterans deserve so that they can recover the healthcare they need because 17 is way too high a number for the people who fought for our freedom.