Barriers For Veterans Getting Help with PTSD
What keeps most veterans from receiving the care they need in relation to PTSD? This article will explain the barriers preventing veterans from getting the proper care they need for their PTSD.
The Department of Veterans Affairs states that on va.gov that there are over 1,293 health care facilities, including 171 medical centers and 1,112 outpatient sites. Even with this many VA healthcare facilities some veterans still don’t receive the care they need. Why? Maybe the VA facilities are in an inconvenient location. If that is the case a veteran can now request to receive a mental health appointment from the community base care program from an outside the VA healthcare system.
Some veterans have transportation issues getting to their VA appointments. There are shuttle services at the majority of VA outpatient clinics that drive veterans to VA hospitals for appointment that are serviced through the hospital and not at the VA outpatient clinic. Most cities have a public transportation system that can be utilized to get to VA appointments. Veterans can ask a friend or family member for a ride to their VA appointment.
A big barrier that prevented myself, a former Army Ranger and veteran, from getting help with PTSD was the negative stigma attached to veterans with PTSD. I’ve been called crazy because I have PTSD. I have been looked down on and marginalized by society due to this. Us veterans fought for our country and as a result we suffer from PTSD. There is nothing crazy about that at all! It is for this reason though that I was out of the Army for several years before I really started getting the treatment I needed for PTSD.
A big barrier I also had for not getting treatment for PTSD is that I didn’t feel talking about it to a stranger. A lot of times when a veteran goes to the VA mental facility to seek treatment for PTSD the therapist they speak with never has been to war. I thought how are they going to be to empathize with what I am going through. Honestly I just really didn’t want to talk about it with anyone, much less a stranger.
What I think it ultimately comes down to is that a veteran has to want to get help with their PTSD related issues. I was my own barrier to receiving the help I needed for PTSD. When I made up my mind I was ready for and needed help with PTSD I sought out the help. There are plenty VA health care facilities and now community base care to get help. There are plenty of transportation resources available to get to and from appointments.
The real barrier for a veteran getting help with PTSD is the veterans’ own mind. When a veteran finally gets to the point they realize they need help the resource are bountiful and readily available.