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.
(c) 2023 Veterans Navigation Center. All Rights Reserved.
🪖 🎖️Today, March 29, is National Vietnam War Veterans Day – a day dedicated to our nation's heroes who served in that war. Fifty years have passed since the final American military forces left Vietnam and our remaining prisoners of war were returned. Even after the passage of five decades, we still owe these veterans a large debt of gratitude. During the conflict, political controversy and disagreement were sadly misdirected toward those who had admirably served our nation. When these brave warriors returned from Vietnam, they received neither a hero’s welcome nor appreciation for their service that they deserved, but instead got apathy, anger and hate. Disappointingly, many were left to struggle alone with self-doubt, shame and the memories of those left behind. After their wartime service ended, these unsung heroes went to work, served in government and became involved in their communities. Vietnam War-era veterans went on to lead Fortune 500 companies, direct Oscar-winning films, create a prominent computer-programming language, map the human genome and many other outstanding accomplishments. Today, there are approximately 6 million living veterans from the Vietnam era – more than 30% of America’s veteran population. We offer our sincerest thanks on this momentous day to all of those brave souls who served! 🪖 🎖️
🪖 🎖️ Don't be afraid to ask a Veteran: “Have You Thought About Harming Yourself?” It might seem scary and awkward to ask them directly about suicide, but the Veteran in your life deserves it. Veterans are 50% more likely to commit suicide than non-Veterans. In this article, 'Veteran-in-recovery' Jay Wylie says: “It’s a conversation that needs to be had because, frankly, the Vet in question probably wants to talk about it. Being able to share your difficulties with someone who cares can be a huge relief.” Read an article about this important topic here: https://bit.ly/3a0TaI5