It should not surprise you to hear that employment is critical for good mental health and can even be part of the treatment for your clients who may have mental health issues. Even though you are not a career counselor, you can still have an enormous impact on your Veteran clients by helping them in their search for post-military employment. This blog will outline the mental health benefits of employment and explain why you should consider integrating the issue of employment into your repertoire of tools for helping your clients. It then suggests how you can help your Veteran clients with their search for employment and lists resources that you can use with them.
Blog posts with the tag "Veteran"
It’s Wednesday afternoon, and I’m sitting, cross-legged, on a meditation cushion in the dayroom at a Veteran’s hospital. There are 13 Veterans sitting around the room; some of them are outpatients and some of them are participants in a residential PTSD program. Some of them are sitting on cushions, but most of them are in chairs. Another psychologist and a few psychology interns are there, too. We are all sitting in silence. About seven minutes into the final period of practice in our mindfulness group, the thought that I knew was coming finally presents itself, front and center, in my mind.
While conducting workshops for decades around the world for many different types of individuals, both professionals and laypeople, the answer to the question I frequently pose to attendees—“Who here had a week recently devoid of problems?” leads consistently to an absence of raised hands. We all have problems—some small, and unfortunately at times, some being quite overwhelming. Based on this common sense consensus, we would all further agree that it is not abnormal or unusual to have problems.
When I was finishing up my clinical training on internship, I was co-leading a therapy group for WWII Veterans who had all been POWs while in theater. Here it was over 50 years since their military service and they all had the same complaint; they had not been able to get a good night of sleep since that time. This is unfortunately a common problem for Veterans and active duty Service members. There have now been several studies reporting high rates of sleep problems, in particular insomnia and nightmares.
Review of Leppma et al (2016) article on assessment of professional competencies working with veterans and military families.
What does it take to work with Veterans and military families?
Leppma et al. (2016) conducted a study to examine professional competencies deemed most relevant for mental health providers working with Veterans and their families. The study makes an important contribution to military psychology by taking the initial steps to define critical professional competencies utilizing evidence-based practices.