Each year, over 200,000 veterans re-enter society. Unfortunately, a large percentage of them struggle to reintegrate successfully into civilian life. In a past Pew Research survey, 27 percent of veterans said they had a difficult time re-adjusting to civilian life. For those who served in the years since the September 2011 attacks, that number increases to 44 percent. While the majority of veterans say they are proud of their service since leaving, they also agree that not enough is being done to support members of the military when they are re-entering society. And that support is increasingly being viewed as invaluable in helping veterans overcome the unique challenges they face during reintegration. From securing employment to supporting their recovery from PTSD and getting to grips with their financial picture, there are ample opportunities to support America’s veterans as they reintegrate into society after service.
Seek Assistance From Veteran Organizations For Reintegration And PTSD
One of the most common challenges veterans face in readjusting to civilian life is learning to cope with PTSD. It is estimated that up to 10 percent of veterans experience PTSD, and it can manifest itself in several ways, including the increased likelihood of anxiety, depression, and misidentify. For veterans transitioning to civilian life, it can affect their relationships and family life in a number of ways.
In good news, there is now a great network of resources aimed at helping veterans with the transition process, including learning how to cope with PTSD. Everyday coping strategies like regular exercise and a good sleep routine are key. For additional help like group therapy sessions and wellbeing support groups, including CCPA-Certified counselors, is available. The Sinai Health System Treatment Program For Veterans With Chronic Pain and PTSD can also help.
Financial Resources Available To A Veteran Returning Home
Financial security is low among veterans, and is interlinked to several aspects of their life, including employment, income, and job satisfaction. It is also the biggest stressor for many veterans and their families. A research summary by Veteran Affairs Canada also showed that improving financial literacy, employment rates, and satisfaction is the way to improve it. The lack of knowledge on the financial resources available to veterans continues to hinder their financial choices when it comes to credit management, homeownership, and even setting up their finances after reintegration. For veterans in need of financial assistance during transition, The Canadian Forces Personnel Fund and The Support Our Troops Fund provide grants up to $5,000 for retired and serving military members. If you are planning to buy a home and have VA loan questions, inquiries on your credit score, or need financial planning advice, the Veteran Family Program offers financial planning workshops aimed at helping veteran families transition.
Employment Advice For Veterans Returning To The Civilian Workforce
Seeking employment as a veteran can be difficult and sometimes disorienting. Previous studies have shown that veterans can struggle to find meaningful jobs that align with their skills and personal beliefs. According to a report by The Veterans Transition Advisory Council, while the unemployment rate for veterans is no higher than the rest of the population, the salaries and quality of jobs they find are lower. In fact, earnings for military personnel decreased by 42 percent, and many veterans complain about being underemployed.
One of the key areas they need support in is the preparation for the job hunt and interview process. Veteran Affairs Canada offers useful job search tools, including a dedicated Job Bank for veterans. It also gives priority to veteran applicants for federal jobs, and regularly hosts events on resume writing and My Skills and Education Translator, a unique online system that helps you translate your military skills to civilian qualifications. Another way veterans can be supported in seeking employment is by tapping into the additional career resources for veterans like Coding For Veterans, Helmets to Hardhats Canada, and the Military to Civilian Career Transition online course.
Returning to civilian life is not always a smooth path for the nation’s veterans. However, recognizing those challenges is only half of the solution. Providing the right support to overcome those challenges is the remaining piece of the puzzle.