Read Mark C. Russell’s November 9th editorial published in The Seattle Times entitled, On this Veterans Day, where is the outrage over mental-health crisis?
Russell concludes with this call to action:
Honor our veterans this holiday by demanding the president and congressional representatives to urgently do the following:
- Conduct independent investigations into the cause of the military mental-health-care crisis.
- Establish a unified “Behavioral Health Corps” within the Department of Defense.
- End hiring restrictions of licensed marriage/family therapists, mental-health counselors and clinical psychologists to address chronic staffing shortages.
- Establish a “Joint Services Behavioral Health Lessons Learned Center.”
- Compel the VA/military to ensure every veteran has access to all evidence-based therapies per the VA/DoD PTSD guidelines.
Mark C. Russell
Nearly 1 in 4 active duty members showed signs of a mental health condition, according to a 2014 study in JAMA Psychiatry. On this page we focus on questions that military personnel often ask, concerning treatment resources, disclosure and staying healthy during the transition to civilian life. If you are having thoughts of suicide, the Veterans Crisis Line is available 24/7 by dialing 1-800-273-8255 and pressing 1.
The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text. Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Support for deaf and hard of hearing individuals is available.
Last Friday, I drove my son down to La Jolla (across the street from UC San Diego!) to see pediatric hypnotherapist and pulmonologist, Dr. Ran D. Anbar, MD, FAAP of Center Point Medicine. My son struggles with migraines (greatly improved with recent medication regime), depression, anxiety, eczema, and frequent school absences due to illnesses.
According to Dr. Anbar’s brochure:
Children who use hypnosis:
- Become empowered to help themselves when they feel poorly, and are proud of themselves for being able to do so.
- Feel better about themselves and their medical condition because they can help take control of how they feel.
- Become aware of their inner strength that allows them to cope more effectively with all aspects of their lives.
My mother used hypnotherapy to help her battle non-Hodgkins lymphoma (along with chemotherapy and monoclonal antibody therapy). Hypnotherapy enabled her to feel more in control, and lessened her pain and anxiety. My father quit smoking using hypnotherapy. I’ve used self-hypnosis (all hypnosis is self-hypnosis) to perform well on exams (I studied, too).
Hoping that self-hypnosis will give my son a tool, an effective coping mechanism, not just for somatic illnesses that respond well to hypnosis, but for life. Somatic illnesses are not “just” in the mind. The mind and the body are connected.
Prayer, meditation and self-hypnosis all help body, mind, and soul.
As California burns, I pause, having finished copying and pasting my blog posts into Scrivener. Next step is to rewrite multiple overview posts about my mental health journey from age eighteen to now. See book outline as my mental health history, chronological posts worth sharing organized by year and month, with appendix of US mental health resources. Will eventually need to ask permission to publish pieces I originally wrote for other websites or publications. I always gave credit where it was due.
For the past few weeks (three?), my son and I (and my husband, but he’s taking care of us) have been sick with gastroenteritis. I haven’t been able to keep up with my usual writing, or with sharing mental health resources on social media. To cope with the many emails piling up, I’m deleting most of them. Yes, I could schedule sharing them, but I simply don’t feel up to it.
When I checked my email this morning, I saw that I had incurred a late fee and interest for a missed credit card payment, which I thought I had already paid online. (Called the credit card company and had the charges reversed.) If I can’t pay bills on time, I need to cut back and focus. I pride myself on managing money well (my last paid job was as an investment analyst for an entrepreneur).
Honestly, all I’ve been up to is watching TV and doing jigsaw puzzles on my iPad. Far cry from workaholic investment analyst.