With San Antonio, Texas being known as “Military City,” One in Five Minds is here to provide support, education and awareness to mental illness in these persons and their families.
Family members may feel isolated, unsupported and anxious. Members of the military are often separated from their families for lengthy periods of time and some families lose a loved one during their departure or a serious injury may occur. These family members may be especially vulnerable to stress and mental illness. Depression, anxiety and sleep disorders are the highest amongst other mental illness found in military families. Spouses of deployed military personally naturally fear for their loved ones’ safety but also face challenging maintaining a household, coping as a single parent and dealing with the martial strain that comes with being apart of an uncertain amount of time.
Children who have one or both parents enlisted are perhaps most impacted through this process. Researchers have found a 19% rise in behavioral disorders among kids with a deployed parent. School-aged children who had experienced parental deployment also have a higher risk for developing psychological and social problems. Lack of support and isolation may also contribute to feelings of depression or anxiety in military children. Frequent moves can make it difficult to form long-term friendships. These children may also feel that non-military kids and adults don’t understand what it’s like when a parent is deployed.
Those in the military or have ever served in the military may have a high chance of these three mental health concerns, These include:
- Postraumtic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Traumatic events, such as military combat, assault, disasters or sexual assault can have long-lasting negative effects such as trouble sleeping, anger, nightmares, being jumpy and alcohol and drug abuse. When these troubles don't go away, it could be PTSD.
- Depression. Depression interferes with daily life and normal functioning and may require treatment.
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). A traumatic brain injury is usually the result of significant blow to the head or body. Symptoms can include headaches, fatigue or drowsiness, memory problems and mood changes and mood swings.
Female veterans are at a much higher risk. They experience elevated risks for suicide. (double that of non-veteran females); post-traumatic stress, anxiety and depression (up to 67% higher than male vets)
To help someone you know in the military, recommend that your friend call the completely confidential counselors at Military One Source (1-800-342-9647).
San Antonio alone accounts for a quarter of the state’s active duty population and our veteran residents place us 9th among the 100 largest cities in the country. Bexar County is home to over 153,000 veterans, the 6th largest country-level population in the country and the most densely-populated veteran community in Texas. With knowing this information, reach out to your friends, family and even a stranger about mental health. Stop the stigma and tell them about One in Five Minds, you could save their life.