funded by a grant from

A series to improve quality of life for veterans

An unprecedented ten-part, year-long series

Friends’ Health Connection is honored to offer an unprecedented online lecture series involving many leading voices in veterans affairs.  Many of our speakers can relate not only to veterans but also disabilities such as paralysis, limb loss, TBI or more. 

We will present a series of 10 panel discussions providing information and support focused on top issues faced by veterans, especially those who face paralysis or limited mobility issues or TBI or related injuries as a result of their service.

 

The panel discussions will take place live via webinar and podcast so guests can post questions to the speakers and panelists. The webinars will also be recorded, edited, publicized and made accessible to all. Special live interactive conversations with a social worker will conclude each session so listeners can continue the conversations.

This series is not intended to serve as or replace medical advice.  

Appropriate medical advice should be sought by your own medical professional.

All sessions are free but advance registration is required by clicking the link below.

SESSION TOPICS

1. Family and Relationships

Veterans can experience family and relationship problems when they return home because the skills and behaviors they learned to survive and function may not work at home. They also face readjusting to civilian life, dealing with TBI, mobility limitations, physical injuries, PTSD and/or addiction. Veterans also have to deal with the changes that happened at home in their absences.

We’ll discuss the readjustment challenges facing veterans and when/where veterans might seek support.

2. Spirituality

Spiritual and religious beliefs can either help or hinder trauma survivors in their attempts to create a healthy understanding of traumatic events, and ultimately make meaning from the events. If trauma survivors believe that their Higher Power failed them, these beliefs could result in anger and disconnection from spiritual or religious support. ISome experts say that “Unless we start considering the spiritual fitness of our servicemen, 15 years from now the suicide rate will still be 20 each day.” We will explore how meaning develops during exposure to traumatic and loss events, and how religion and spirituality can provide a framework that may aid the development of meaning.

 

 

 

3. Emotional Health

Current analysis indicates that an average of 20 veterans die from suicide per day. The 3 most common mental health concerns for vets are PTSD, depression and TBI.

Both active duty service members and veterans face barriers to treatment for mental health issues including:

  • Personal embarrassment/shame about service-related mental disabilities

  • Long wait times or travel distances

  • Fear being seen as weak

  • Lack of awareness about treatment options

    We will further explore these issues.

 

4. Financial well-being

Financial issues rank among the most stressful lifestyle concerns for veterans and their families.

Military veterans who report having relatively minor financial problems, such as bouncing a check or going over their credit limit, are four times more likely to become homeless within the next year than veterans without such problems

  • 17% of veterans report it took them take over a year to find a job.

  • 49% have less than $5,000 in savings

  • 55% of military spouses identify as “underemployed”

  • 51% of employed military spouses earned less than $20,000 in 2016

    We will talk about financial education and managing money, finding employment and related resources available to veterans.

5. Treatment for PTSD, anxiety, depression

PTSD therapy has three main goals:

  • Improve your symptoms

  • Teach you skills to deal with it

  • Restore your self-esteem

    Most PTSD therapies fall under the umbrella of cognitive behavioral therapy - changethought patterns that are disturbing a person’s life.

    We will discuss CBT, breathing exercises, meditation and mindfulness techniques.

6. Physical Health - Chronic Pain

Almost half of the patients within VA healthcare settings experience pain on a regular basis. Since there is such a high prevalence of veterans suffering from chronic pain and co-occurring mental/physical health issues, it is necessary to find the right treatment approach to address both conditions.

 

Here we will discuss chronic pain, effective psychological interventions that target chronic pain and resources for pain management/treatment.

7. Addiction

Many veterans turn to substance abuse to self-medicate and numb their pain. People with PTSD have a harder time overcoming addiction than those without it. The symptoms of withdrawal combined with PTSD amplify negative feelings that may lead to a relapse.

During this session we will discuss: co-occurring disorders, addiction treatment/resources and programs that focus on PTSD and addiction simultaneously.

 

8. Finding/furthering your Passions & Purpose


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9. Sleep/Therapeutic Modalities

Sleep problems are common in people with PTSD. This can be the result of nightmares, fears of going to sleep, anxiety, persistent mental alertness, depression, and other negative thoughts. Insomnia has been reported in 90-100% of veterans with PTSD.

Here we will discuss pharmacologic and cognitive behavioral treatment options available

 

10. Diet/nutrition /exercise

Practicing strong self-care does not always come easy to those who have dedicated themselves to service. Eating well keeps the body functioning at a high level.

Here, we will discuss nutrition and meal planning, hydration, weight control, exercisel and self-care.

Many separating military members struggle to keep an exercise routine because new obligations compete for their time and energy.

Many separating military members struggle to keep an exercise routine because new obligations compete for their time and energy.

Here, we will discuss exercise regimens for veterans – feel happier/energized, manage weight and reduce their risk for certain long-term health conditions.

During this session we will discuss: co-occurring disorders, addiction treatment/resources and programs that focus on PTSD and addiction simultaneously.

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