Mental Health within our military and service men and women can include a broad range of topics - grief & bereavement, returning to work after returning from war, dealing with anxiety and depression while a spouse is deployed, helping children cope with deployment, and reconnecting relationships upon a return.
This stress can be due to concerns about a loved one’s safety, economic hardship, the challenges of coping as a single parent, or simply missing a partner. Stress can also be just as strong when you are ready to return to “normal”.
Whether you are a veteran feeling trapped in PTSD, or a spouse struggling with single parenting or separation anxiety, these tips from Mental Health America serve as a great starting point for maintaining a healthy mindset for navigating a new normal.
· Talk about it. By talking with others, particularly other military spouses, you will reduce your stress and realize that others share your feelings.
· Take care of your physical health. Get plenty of rest and exercise, avoid excessive drinking and drugs, and eat properly.
· Limit your exposure to the news media. The images, rumors and speculation can be damaging to your sense of well-being.
· Engage in activities you find relaxing. Plant flowers, attend a concert, visit an art gallery, or take a long bath. Be kind to yourself.
· Do something positive. Contact community volunteer organizations to see how you can help. Give blood, prepare “care packages” for service men and women, or support a friend or neighbor who is having trouble coping.
· Take care of your children. Acknowledge their worries and uncertainties. Reassure them that their feelings are normal. Maintain your family routines and keep the lines of communication open.
· Be patient. It takes effort and time to absorb a major loss, accept your changed life, and begin to live again in the present and not dwell on the past.
· Seek help. If your feelings become too much to bear, seek professional assistance to help work through your grief. It’s a sign of strength, not weakness, to seek help.
Here’s how our funded partner agencies are here to answer your call for help:
Anazao can help reduce the stress of reentering the workplace. They offer employment services to those searching and work with employers to properly prepare the space for safely and smoothly reentering. Learn more about them here.
NAMI offers a healing circle for veterans called Warriors Journey Home that aims to provide the means of healing for veterans & their families through education, support, forgiveness, healing, reconciliation, reunification, and initiation. The Wooster Healing Circle meets the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month at 6 p.m. at 150 E North St., Wooster.
The Counseling Center offers a comprehensive guide of crisis resources, one of those being the Veterans Crisis Line. This line connects veterans to Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The Counseling Center also offers comprehensive counseling services for individuals, couples, or families.
Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, Text message to 838255
Counseling Center contact: (330) 264-9029 OR (877) 264-9029
We are thankful to our service men and women and know our thanks will never be enough for our freedom. Our goal here at the Mental Health & Recovery Board is whole and complete freedom for everyone – and we are glad we can offer services to our community and our veterans.