community axction

Community Action on War Trauma

Originally posted Sun, 03/01/2009 - 00:57 - bumping - standingup

Many communities in the United States have a hidden problem, one that is in grave need of the American tradition of neighbors helping neighbors. The problem is the burden of memories that many young men and women bring home from a war, which can often become harder to deal with as time goes by.

Many veterans try to deal with war memories by trying to forget, by drinking or taking drugs. Some join veterans’ groups that offer comradeship and service programs. Yet an increasing number of veterans and active duty soldiers have felt nothing eased their anguish and committed suicide. Most veterans find ways to cope with life after war. But too often, when a veteran realizes he or she has a problem and seeks assistance from government agencies, they run into a bureaucratic logjam. Family members and friends often feel they don’t know where to turn to find a helpful program.

This is where community networking and community forums can play a vital role. Non-profit agencies may have counseling programs that are not widely known. Some advocacy groups have trained counselors to help navigate the mental health care system. Government agencies are trying to figure out how to do improved outreach to veterans, active duty troops and National Guard members.