America’s veterans are some of the most courageous individuals on the planet and deserve the utmost respect for the sacrifices they’ve made for our nation. Sadly, we are failing our veterans as the veteran suicide epidemic is at an alarming height—almost twice the civilian suicide rate. The trauma and strict regime of military service leave many veterans vulnerable to mental health struggles and unhealed emotional wounds.
Thankfully, the Veterans Crisis Outreach Initiative recently hosted a community outreach extended towards all veterans needing assistance, as well as others interested in learning more about the crisis or offering help themselves.
The outreach is a significant step towards finding community solutions to assist veterans in their transition back to civilian life. Citizens were provided with tools to recognize symptoms of depression and suicidal thoughts, especially in the context of military culture, and locations to find veterans help. The speakers—all of them veterans—shared their struggles with homelessness, depression, anxiety, and other issues that followed their military service.
Hopefully, this event sets a precedent in San Diego to provide a haven to veterans in desperate need of our support. For those who made the ultimate sacrifice, the least we can do is offer them our support and a listening ear.