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Depicting Veteran Mental Health Challenges & Solutions
-Finding Hope-

Brian NEW HeadshotA Message from Brian Dyak
EIC President,
CEO & Co-Founder


The Veteran community in the United States is going through a change. With wars ending overseas, a new generation of Veterans is returning home. They are going back to school, reuniting with their families, starting new jobs, and reintegrating into a society that may no longer understand them or the experiences they have had.

Utilizing the power of the creative community is key to creating a sense of community around returning Veterans. Your depictions can show they are not alone in their experiences and that help is available, they can also educate families, communities, and individuals who might be able to offer help or find support for themselves by reducing misperceptions and stigma surrounding Veteran’s issues and Veteran mental health. Consider the following suggestions as you explore this topic in your creative works and consider ways you can promote hope for a successful reintegration for all Veterans back into their communities, families, and homes.


 
January is Celebration of Life Month!
If you or a loved one are battling with thoughts of suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline today.
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Did you Know?

  • Veterans and others who see the benefit of using mental health services may be unaware of resources tailored specifically to Veterans’ needs. Because of their unique experiences, Veterans can often benefit more from services designed for them and others in the Veteran community.
  • Veterans’ loved ones also face unique challenges and can benefit from making the connection with others who have had similar experiences. Military service can temporarily separate families, and readjustment can be tough, family members can explore treatment and support options for themselves and the Veterans in their lives that build resilience and strengthen their families. The VA and other community-based resources offer options for loved ones of Veterans seeking assistance and the means to help those they care about.
  • Many Veterans seek help and support for mental health challenges. In fact, more than 1.3 million Veterans received mental health care through the VA in 2011. 

PT VA Pub Cover 
Portions of this newsletter adapted from

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 Suggestions for Depicting Hope & Solutions for Veteran Mental Health Challenges

Veterans may feel isolated, but they do not live in isolation. Nor should Veteran characters. Following the transition from military service, whether immediately or years later, Veterans may experience difficulties in their relationships, work, or everyday lives, but they are not alone in dealing with these issues; support is available.
  • Your characters can show the inner strength necessary to make the decision to seek support and treatment; the benefits of that decision in the Veteran’s work life and relationships; and the benefits to the Veteran’s family and friends as well. Veterans may feel they’re the only ones experiencing mental health issues and may consider it a sign of weakness to seek help and discuss their problems with those around them. Showcasing the strength and initiative it requires to take action and seek treatment and guidance adds opportunities for dramatic dialogue and plot development.
  • When depicting characters seeking treatment and support, you can add depth to your stories by referencing available programs and advocacy groups and showing how they provide support for Veterans and their families.
  • When depicting support groups and other forms of treatment, consider highlighting the camaraderie and friendships formed among members of the groups. The bond between Veterans and professionals—who are often Veterans themselves or are specially trained to work with Veterans—can be a compelling thread to your storylines. Your stories may also explore how experiencing mental health challenges can lead a Veteran to feel alone and misunderstood. Depicting interactions within personal relationships can contribute to your audience’s investment in your characters while highlighting that once help is found, feelings of isolation and loneliness may be replaced with feelings of friendship and understanding.

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EIC's FREE Technical Assistance Resource 
to the Creative Community!

To set up your own FREE First Draft Consultation with one of our experts contact Ashley Jupin: ajupin@eiconline.org 
or 818-861-7782

EIC is proud to partner with Got Your 6 in order to support awareness of Veterans Issues!

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Visit Gotyour6.org for more information!
Save the Date!
EIC's 17th Annual PRISM Awards will be held on April 25, 2013 in Beverly Hills
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Click here for excerpts from this year's show hosted by Dr. Drew Pinsky!


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