The Issue: Veterans’ Mental Health and Available Support
Across the United States, more than 2.5 million combat veterans have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan, and many now struggle to cope with life after war. Posttraumatic-stress disorder, suicide, and other mental-health issues in returning troops and veterans have gained media attention from The New York Times to The Huffington Post, which reports that an average of 22 veterans commit suicide every day. Furthermore, according to the Center for a New American Security, "although only 1 percent of Americans have served during the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, former service members represent 20 percent of suicides in the United States." A proper net of support services such as counseling and educational resources could help lower these statistics, easing the transition back to civilian life for veterans and their families.
The Campaign: Counseling Veterans
All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by Not Alone to sponsor mental-health counseling and support services for combat veterans transitioning back to civilian life. For every $1,100 raised, Not Alone can sponsor 10 veterans in its treatment and counseling program, working toward its ultimate goal of adding 1,000 new veterans to the program this year. Participating veterans can take part in all of the program's services, including online group therapy, in-person counseling sessions, and 24/7 emergency support from the eClinic. From November 2012 to February 2013 alone, the program provided 1,434 services to 335 individuals in 18 states.
Not Alone enables active-duty soldiers, veterans, and their families to address the emotional and psychological effects of combat experience with mental-health counseling and support services. Online and in-person programs address the effects of combat and posttraumatic-stress disorder, with more than 400 professionals available to provide confidential counseling services for veterans and active military members across 22 states. An online social network connects peers, informal groups cater to significant others, and the eClinic offers immediate 24/7 assistance to service members in need. Not Alone also maintains a combat-stress assessment to determine daily stress levels and an online database of articles on PTSD and life after war.
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