One of the biggest issues Veterans face with mental health care is the stigma attached to asking for help. After all, we’re told to suck it up and drive on in the military for the sake of the team. That idea may carry on when folks leave the service, which makes undiagnosed and untreated symptoms of post-traumatic stress even worse.
To help counter that, VA and the Department of Defense have created free smart phone applications—like the PTSD Coach—that can help Vets identify signs of PTSD, manage symptoms, and connect with resources and help instantly. And putting this tool right in the hands of Veterans has proven to be effective.
From the Boston Globe:
Studies suggest that helping veterans and others early on in their experience with trauma-related stress may prevent some of the more catastrophic effects of PTSD. That requires giving people who aren’t sure whether their symptoms are severe enough to warrant attention from a doctor — or don’t want to admit it — a safe route to learn more. And it means finding effective ways to treat the large numbers of service members who have experienced war-related trauma in the past decade.
The PTSD Coach app can be downloaded for free on iTunes and the Android Marketplace.
But what about Vets without smartphones? Much of the same information and resources can be found at VA’s National Center for PTSD, and the Veterans Crisis Line can be reached day or night at 1-800-273-8255, through text message at 838255, or online chat, 365 days a year.