Veterans suffer from mental illness at an alarming rate.
U.S. military veterans are suffering from severe mental health issues. Of the 1.7 million soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, 20 percent suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or major depression. In addition, of the total amount of veterans in the U.S., 1.8 million could be classified as having a substance abuse disorder. The statistics are staggering and clearly show that many of America’s heroes need our help.
A major barrier to the healing of veterans is the fact that they do not seek treatment. According to the Army, around 40 percent of individuals who screen positive for severe mental afflictions do not seek any form of treatment. In addition, 30 percent veterans with PTSD or depression do not seek help from the VA. The Army believes a root cause of this issue is that there is a large amount of stigma associated with mental illness. Some veterans are embarrassed, do not wish to disappoint their peers, and may worry about a limited opportunity for job advancement. It is therefore essential for charities to work on programs to help veterans get the treatment they require.