Friday, November 11 is Veterans Day. Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans. It is a day to give thanks to all veterans that have served honorably during war or peacetime. We must keep in mind the unique mental health needs of veterans when honoring them. Common mental health struggles for veterans include posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Chronic pain is also common in Veterans. Living with daily pain is both physically and emotionally stressful. Returning to civilian life can be a time of major emotional upheaval for veterans. Often, a veteran’s time in the service shifts the way they look at life. Those that are close to Veterans often are the first to notice that they may be struggling with their mental health. Working to recognize the signs of crisis is essential. Warning signs include talking about death, appearing sad or depressed most of the time, increasing alcohol or drug use, hopelessness, and withdrawing from friends and family. But how do we support the Veterans in our lives? Support can be a small act of kindness, intervening in a crisis, or encouraging them to either start or continue mental health treatment. Some things to remember are that asking about thoughts of suicide does not increase the risk of suicide, let them decide how much they want to share, and to remind the Veteran that you are there for them. Below are resources for Veterans and their families throughout the Capital Region.

  • Dial 988 then press 1: Veterans Crisis Line
  • Albany VA Medical Center: 518-626-5000
  • Albany Vet Center: 518-626-5130
  • American Legion: 518-459-1520
  • Capital District Military Family Support Inc.: 518-281-4453
  • Schenectady VA Clinic: 518-346-3334
  • Clifton Park VA Clinic: 518-383-8506

By, Julia Cornman, EAP Intern