3 modern initiatives to support veteran mental health

3 modern initiatives to support veteran mental health

As we honor our veterans this week, it is important that we take time to recognize the unique struggles that they experience. Many elderly veterans face challenges with mental health, physical ability, and chronic conditions. Cosán works hard to help these members of our community overcome the hurdles in their life–especially those that could contribute to declining mental health.

For information on mental health during the pandemic, see Cosán’s {Hitting A Wall link}.

support systems

The lack of support systems frequently cause veterans’ mental health to decline. If a veteran experiences PTSD or another chronic condition, they will require hands-on help to manage their own health. In the absence of that help, invisible conditions like PTSD, anxiety, or depression can overtake a veteran’s life, preventing them from taking active steps to maintain their own health, physical or otherwise.

In some cases, a mentally-ill veteran can fall into cycles of depression, houselessness, suicidal thoughts, and other manifestations of an individual struggling with their mental health. Cosán’s efforts in closing the gaps of care between doctor’s visits and daily intend to prevent negative spirals like these. Our Care Coordinators, technology-driven health analysis, and passion for connecting with older adults allow us to become the support system of older veterans, helping them to victory in their unique battles.

And we’re not alone. Here are some non-profit organizations doing innovative work like Cosán, to the benefit of veteran’s everywhere.

OSD

Operation Supply Drop is a non-profit focused on creating social connectivity for veterans and active service members, who often suffer from isolation and isolation-driven mental illness. Like Cosán, OSD’s goal is to create ‘Veteran Support Ecosystems’, which aim to fill in the areas of life that veterans often tackle alone. Through these ecosystems, veterans can connect to each other, community leaders, and reintegration professionals.

One way that OSD achieves this is through its Games to Grunts™ program, which provides veterans of all ability levels with video games and a community to play them with. Though OSD originally began with younger veterans, Games to Grunts™ is available to anybody!

BEAM

BEAM, the Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective, is a group of “advocates, yoga teachers, artists, therapists, lawyers, religious leaders, teachers, psychologists and activists committed to the emotional/mental health and healing of Black communities”. Much like OSD and Cosán, BEAM seeks to eliminate the barriers between black community members and mental health services, again aiming to fill the cracks that mentally-ill community members may otherwise slip through. Specifically targeted to help black individuals, who are among the most likely to go without mental health support, BEAM offers a Black Virtual Wellness Directory to help connect individuals with therapists, mediators, and other professionals, in addition to Mobile Crisis Unit Services that are primed to respond to mental health emergencies in communities across America.

Although BEAM is not specifically veteran-focused, their services are ready and available to black veterans and their families.

give an hour

Give An Hour a national network of volunteer professionals trained to assist veterans and their families with mental health crises and management. Give An Hour’s services are completely free, and focus on removing the stigma of mental illness in our society.

Give An Hour employs a variety of initiatives within and outside of veteran communities. These initiatives, like GAH’s partnership with the American Psychological Association, operate in different parts of the country, though Give An Hour’s services are available to veterans no matter where they live. GAH’s provider network can be easily searched, so that veterans and their families can access mental health professionals free of charge.

Cosán is not alone in our efforts to see elderly veterans living within support systems that truly care. We salute our veterans and thank those like our featured organizations for the work they do in supporting veterans and their families through all stages of life.