Mental Health In The New Year

Real Relationship Advice

CoupleDumb is quickly approaching its 4 Year Anniversary. In honor of the New Year, we are dedicating our site to Mental Health in the year 2013. Specifically, we will be spending some time on a weekly basis to address different areas of Mental Health, especially issues concerning the mental health needs for our veterans. Our goal is to create an understanding and awareness of mental health, like that of a yearly physical or a trip to the dentist. Being mentally healthy is as important as taking your vitamins or 10,000 steps a day.

As for our Veterans, we are, as a nation, failing them. We are disregarding their needs after their service. We expect these men and women who served with honor and bravery to seek out help that has been branded by society as a weakness. We expect them to admit that their mental turmoil requires professional help and yet the ‘hoorah’ mentality of the military requires them to fight through the pain. Unfortunately, a mind does not take a break and emotional pain never dissipates unless it is addressed.

Our VA hospitals are exhausted of resources and strangled by protocols that steer mental health professionals away from labeling a Vet with PTSD or other diagnoses that would open the government up for a disability claim or worse, curse a soldier with a label he/she can never overcome. Also, how are these individuals to concentrate on their own mental well-being if they have no job or home? How can they heal the traumas of combat if they cannot care for their families? Maslow’s Hierarchy is not a cute infograph. It clearly explains that a person must deal with the crucial needs of food, safety and shelter before they can work on higher order issues such as emotional well-being.

Mental Health is seen as ‘something other people do’ or ‘we aren’t those kinds of people’. Everyone has issues and it is not a mark of bravery, or even intelligence, when you think you can power through your sadness, fear or anger. It shows a lack of human understanding that is not only dangerous to society but to your progeny as well. If, as a society, we accepted mental health as a necessary part of life, we may see a radical change in our world. Seeking mental health should not only be done after a calamity or catastrophe.

With the tragedies that shook our country to its core, we need to focus on the positive. We need to focus on what we can learn to move our country forward. We must acknowledge the issues that have caused these evils and shift the conversation from the horrors to how to change our society so that everyone has the opportunity to live a physically and emotionally healthy life. To this end, we must change the conversation. Focus less on the problem and more on the solution. Shift the paradigm. Embrace the possibility.

We hope you will support this effort.

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