How PTSD Can Profoundly Impact Veterans’ Lives and Risk of Homelessness
The US Department of Veterans Affairs reports that nearly 16 percent of veterans deployed during the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan developed PTS — a mental health challenge that arises after experiencing traumatic events. These events can range from combat and sexual assault to domestic violence, terrorist attacks, or natural disasters.
PTS manifests in several ways, including flashbacks or nightmares related to the traumatic experience, avoidance of elements associated with the trauma, and heightened emotional reactivity. Individuals grappling with PTS may also experience feelings of isolation, depression, guilt, shame, anger, and irritability. These emotional states can potentially trigger panic attacks, stemming from pervasive feelings of anxiety and nervousness.
Given that the symptoms of PTS can impede focus and interpersonal connectivity, many veterans living with PTS encounter difficulties maintaining stable employment and nurturing healthy relationships. There’s a higher propensity for these veterans to resort to alcohol or substance use as a form of self-medication. More severe consequences can include poverty, homelessness, and even suicidal ideations, all of which can dramatically disrupt the lives of those affected.
At Mission 22, we are committed to addressing these challenges and providing comprehensive, effective programs to help veterans navigate their journey towards healing and wellness.
How to Get Help
Mission 22 provides accessible, comprehensive programs for veterans and their spouses who deal with PTS. Our Recovery + Resiliency (R+R) Program, a long-term course combining timeless principles of human healing with modern science. We guide participants through wellness practices and education, empowering them to turn past traumas into tools for combating hopelessness. We also work closely with partner organizations like All Secure Foundation, Green Beret Foundation, and Stop Soldier Suicide. These collaborations enable us to provide an even more robust network of support. All Secure Foundation, for instance, focuses on healing Special Operations warriors and their families. The Green Beret Foundation provides immediate and ongoing support to the Green Beret community, while Stop Soldier Suicide works 24/7 to provide free resources and support to those who’ve served.
The Mission 22 Ambassador Program offers an opportunity for veterans, their families, and community members to directly contribute to our cause. Our ambassadors, a mix of veterans and civilians from across the nation, represent our values and goals. They engage with Mission 22 through social media, in person, and at events, making a positive impact on our mission to support veterans.
In addition, our free online Elements program, a 28-day self-guided course, offers practical strategies for recovery and resilience building. This program, designed by health coaches, athletes, and veterans, can empower veterans and their families to regain control of their lives and create positive change.
If you or a loved one are in crisis, please reach out to the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24/7.
Embrace Today: Overcoming PTS Together
While PTS can lead to significant life challenges for Veterans, including homelessness and profound distress, these outcomes are not predestined. Veterans and their families should actively seek out resources and support. Those in the wider community can make a considerable difference by contributing to organizations that work tirelessly to uplift the lives of our service members, past and present.
Together, we can ensure that those who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice do not lose another day to the trials of PTS.
- Soldier in the shadows with PTSD: Shutterstock