Did you know that November is National Veterans and Families Month? Veterans Day is still observed November 11th, but this year the Department of Veterans Affairs decided to have the 98-year tradition of observance and appreciation for veterans last throughout the whole month of November! There are a number of events planned all around the country, so check the official calendar to see if something is happening near you if you’re interested in participating in some way.
This is also a good time to talk about some of the important health-related issues our veterans might face. If you or anyone in your family has ever served in the military, you may be familiar with some of the health risks that are associated with a career serving our country. Some are more obvious, like injuries resulting in disability or chronic pain. Others might be harder to pin down, like post-traumatic stress disorder or substance abuse. It’s important to remember that each service member will return home with their own range of experiences. Knowing how and where to go to address any issues that may present themselves is key! There are lots of helpful resources out there for veterans and their families should they need access to them.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
For access to any and all information related to veterans and the services provided for and to them, the Veterans Affairs website is the most obvious place to start.
For a quick overview and access to a number of useful resources related to veterans health, veterans and their families can visit the Veterans and Military Health topic at MedlinePlus. MedlinePlus is an excellent consumer health resource that provides information that is easy to read and understand about a variety of topics. It’s a great (and safe) place on the web to start when looking for any health related information. You can trust MedlinePlus as a place to dive deeper into specific topics like PTSD, depression, and other health issues that can affect veterans.
Veterans Crisis Line
The Veterans Crisis Line is available around the clock to assist and support veterans and their families in times of crisis. You can call, live chat via their website, or even text for help. Some of the trained responders are veterans themselves and may be able to understand what the person in crisis is going through.
In Your Community
Veterans Health Administration
The VA provides care to 9 million enrolled veterans each year at its 1,234 health care facilities. You or your family member may be eligible to receive benefits and care. You can visit the VA website or your local VA hospital to find out if you qualify. Orlando has a number of locations, including the brand new VA Medical Center in Lake Nona. A number of comprehensive services and programs are available at the Lake Nona location. You can follow your local medical center via social media to keep up with any new services and programs that may be offered, and to keep up with VA news.
To everyone out there – especially our colleagues and students around the College of Medicine – who has served in some capacity near or far, we thank you for what you do. We’re here to assist with your information needs!