Mandatory Military and First Responders Mental Health Checkups
Our men and women who serve in our armed forces have served our nation proudly. But that service often comes at a huge, but invisible, cost. The structure of the military can be difficult for some people, while others are struggling with the effects of combat. Although many of our veterans have suffered more than any of us can imagine, they are also the ones most likely to not seek out “mental health” professionals. Our heroes often deal with impossible situations of life and death. When they survive that battle, they expect that they should be strong enough to win the mental and emotional battles going on in their hearts and minds.
We must step in and ensure that these brave heroes get the help they need regardless of whether they seek it out for themselves or not. Our military needs to be instructed to provide routine mental health checkups for every enlisted person at a rate of every six months. For each enlisted person serving in combat roles and/or combat areas, those mental health checkups must be required every month. When the soldier returns home after serving in a combat role or combat area, they should be required to have a full week of impatient mental health evaluation, followed by weekly mental health checkups for the first year home, and monthly for the second year. After two years, the mental health professional would be required to suggest how much ongoing mental health care would be needed.
We must also attack the stigma of mental health. These heroes need to understand that mental health checkups are just as important as physicals. A mental health illness does not diminish the soldier’s bravery or courage. We need to embrace mental health as just another aspect of physical health.
Suicide rates are very high among our brave military heroes. They should never suffer in silence or alone. We need to lift them up with health, healing, love, and compassion (NOT PITY). The only way to combat suicide by our veterans is to not allow the enemies of depression, anxiety, PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), and so forth, to gain a foothold on our precious heroes.
They protect our freedoms so that we can live in relative peace. We need to protect them from the demons that attack their minds, so they can also live in relative peace. They protect us physically. We need to protect them mentally. They protected our bodies. We need to protect their minds.