As a society, we show gratitude to our veterans. We know that we’re indebted to them and have our freedom thanks to them. But how do we support them once their duty is done and they come home?
It's naïve to think that someone who has seen death and feared for their life could be who they were before. They’re coming home to people who can’t understand, and most former soldiers won’t feel comfortable expressing vulnerability. After all, they’ve just come from a situation where showing any sign of weakness could mean death.
One of our greatest concerns at the Veterans Navigation Center is that they may choose to self-medicate.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, veterans most commonly enter treatment for problems with marijuana, alcohol, opioids, and cocaine. That number surpasses the national average and doesn’t include those who don’t enter treatment or believe they have a problem.
Drinking and drug use, especially if the person manages to function, aren’t viewed as “weak” ways to handle pain or mental illness. In fact, these vices can often be indulged without anyone knowing. Many veterans feel caught between a rock and a hard place, unable to admit they need help with substance use disorder because that would mean admitting they need help with mental health.
All veterans need a safe space with people who understand what they’re going through.
Treatment for substance use is just one way we help veterans. Our hope is that we can intervene before they even begin to feel that lost.
Each veteran is assigned a case manager who assesses and supports the veteran’s needs, creates a plan of action, and then refers them to trusted partners who can help them achieve their goals.
Scott H. Silverman founded the Veterans Navigation Center because he recognized the need for these specialized services. As the founder of Confidential Recovery, he had a firsthand look at how many veterans sought recovery and how the situation might be prevented if only they had the tools to navigate civilian life.
Scott is determined to do everything he can for the people who gave so much, and so is Veteran Coordinator and Operations Manager Jay Wylie. Jay is a veteran and recovering alcoholic (in his tenth year of sobriety), placing him in the unique position to connect with San Diego’s veteran population and ensure they have support.
Partners of the Veterans Navigation Center include Healing Wave Aquatics, Veterans Yoga Project, Helping PAWS, Confidential Recovery, and San Diego Veterans Coalition.
Contact the Veterans Navigation Center in San Diego at (858) 567-9191 to learn how we can offer support for you or a loved one. If you are in immediate crisis, dial 988 and then 1 to reach the Veterans Crisis Line.
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🪖"Veterans, you are not alone."🎖️ If there was one message we want every Vet to hear, it is that there are others who feel and struggle in the same way. And there are many resources to help, that a lot of Veterans don't know about. Do you know a #Vet in California who needs help? Whether they just recently completed their service or did so 20 years ago, even if they had a negative discharge, or legal troubles, we'd like to see if we can help. We can offer a free assessment and possibly access to benefits or other resources that can change their life. Call us at (858) 567-9191 or visit us here: http://thevnc.org/