Dr. Peter Kramer, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Brown University, writes in an op-ed for The New York Times that finding employment may just be the best medicine for those veterans returning home and facing mental illnesses such as depression and/or thoughts of suicide.
Dr. Kramer explains “When soldiers leave the military, they lose what service provides: purpose, focus, achievement, responsibility and the factor the CNAS report calls ‘belongingness.’ The workplace can be stressful, but especially for the mentally vulnerable, there is no substitute for what jobs offer in the way of structure, support and meaning.”
To help those veterans struggling with mental health illnesses, many companies and organizations are reaching out to veterans with employment initiatives. For instance, Prudential just recently announced that they would be donating $6.2 million to 10 nonprofit groups that help veterans and their families transition back to civilian life.
Similarly, the Call of Duty Endowment awarded AMVETS a grant earlier this year to support the opening of their local employment centers across the U.S. The most recent of these centers opened in Tulare, CA where ABC 30 reports that 42-percent of veterans in the area are unemployed. With the help of the Endowment, these new AMVETS centers will provide free online courses and resume workshops.
Helping our veterans find gainful employment means much more than just helping our downturned economy – it means helping some fight for their lives back.
Tags: AMVETS, Employment, mental illness, Prudential, veterans
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