Giving Compass’ Take:
• Pat Harriman discusses the recent findings on the impact of grief on the mental health of veterans and their families.
• Veteran mental healthcare is often focused on PTSD, how can donors support mental health groups that target grief?
• Read about high-quality mental healthcare improving veteran’s lives.
Grief in veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq has been as largely overlooked as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the aftermath of the Vietnam War.
According to the most recent casualty report from the Department of Defense, more than 5,400 US military personnel have died in combat since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began in 2001 and 2003, respectively. In a 2017 Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America survey, 58% of participants indicated that they knew a veteran who had died by suicide, and 65% knew a veteran who had attempted to take his or her own life.
Researchers discovered that higher combat exposure, greater closeness with the comrade who died, and increased anger were the main predictors of intense grief.
“The more we can delineate the distinct toll of suicide and combat loss among the current generation of veterans, the better we can minimize the public health impact of the most recent US wars,” Lubens says.
Read the full article about 7 ways grief affects veterans by Pat Harriman at Futurity.
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