Foundations Unite Giving Mental Health Care To Veterans

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Volunteer Mental Health Professionals Will Respond to a Growing Public Health Crisis for Thousands of Veterans and Their Families.

Heeding the call of

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I'm a veteran with PTSD. Never realizing the anger, the lack of self-esteem and the frustration with life that I carried for years was the PTSD and that PTSD could be treated, I bummed around the country for 25 years. Then something clicked when I saw news articles about the Tail Hook and Aberdeen Proving Grounds fiascos. I went to the Vet Center for a "quick" consultation and was I surprised to learn I wasn't crazy after all. It's been 15 years since that first breakdown and I've come a long way, Baby! I finished college and got a degree in psychology. I'm frustrated now because I don't have the money to get my masters so I can continue the lifeline I received from the Vet Center. My hands shake and I bawl big, fat tears when I see yet another article that says the suicide rate for soldiers keeps going up each month, because I remember when once suicide was the first thing I thought about when I got up in the morning and the last thing I thought about at night...for over 25 years. My counseling helped me to realize that suicide is not a normal thought process...but it is for those with PTSD and I know what that feels like. I'm desperately trying to find an organization that will send me to graduate school so I can reach out to people who need the same type of help I once needed. I know I can do this if given the opportunity. I'm 60 years old and most of my friends are looking forward to retirement. I have a job now that I'll probably retire from in the next five years, but right now I'm looking forward to going to graduate school and getting a job as a counselor. Weird? yes. Necessary? absolutely! I'd work for free if they would let me. One more thing, I remember the pain of being a Vietnam era veteran. No one was there to catch our tears or extinguish our fears. No one. We cannot let our latest veterans think no one cares or no one understands. I have two ideas that keep gnawing at me: (1) organize a program where Vietnam veterans and Iraq/Afghanistan veterans can help each other; and (2) begin a nationwide assist dog program for soldiers with emotional problems. How can anyone kill themselves when those trusting eyes of their dog begs them to stay alive or when there's another veteran who cares enough to sit up all night and listen to the fears of a new veteran. Got any suggestions on how I can get a scholarship to go to graduate school?