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Veterans all served their country, but they are from different times, different generations, and different experiences. The best way to support them is to understand what they have been through. Thanking them for their service is a great way to show them that you appreciate the sacrifices they have made for the citizens of the country. Take a look at five ways to support the mental health of veterans.

  1. Understand That Some Veterans Suffer from Anxiety

Some veterans suffer from anxiety due to their having experienced traumatic events during their service time. They can also suffer anxiety over transitioning from military life to civilian life. You can support them by understanding the challenges they may be going through. Going from a lifestyle with a rigid structure where you are on alert much of the time to the less-regulated routines of a civilian can be difficult.

  1. Some Veterans May Suffer Depression

Veterans can also suffer from depression after they serve the country. They may feel sad, despondent, or unmotivated. You can support them by showing that you care. You can let them know how grateful you are for their service and the freedoms that they helped to secure. You can also let them talk and listen to what they say. Offer them hope and encouragement, and recommend mental health professionals who are trained to help people recover from depression.

  1. Be Aware of Suicide

A staggering 17 veterans commit suicide every day, which is hard to imagine. One way to help prevent suicide is by reaching out in your community. There are often community programs where you can spend time talking with veterans and let them know that you are there if they need someone. You can also donate to organizations that offer support to veterans. Make sure that you get them help right away if they tell you they are thinking about suicide. You can share the Veterans Crisis Hotline, which is available 24 hours a day.

  1. Learn About PTSD

When someone experiences traumatic events similar to those suffered in combat, they can have flashbacks and suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome. Veterans can have trouble sleeping, feel anger, turn to alcohol and drugs, or be nervous and jumpy because of their past experiences. There are everyday events that can trigger PTSD, including fireworks or other loud sounds. Learn about this condition, and be sure to refer them to organizations that can help.

  1. Veterans Can Suffer from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Traumatic Brain Injury is the result of a concussion from blasts or other events during combat. You should understand what it is because veterans can suffer from memory loss, mood swings, and other effects. Be prepared for it and know how to refer a veteran for help if you notice this problem.