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Depicting Veteran Mental Health Challenges & Solutions
-Seeking Help-


Just like those who never served in the military, Veterans may experience mental health issues and difficult life events that are unrelated to their service. However, the difficulties of service, such as combat, noncombat training exercises, other traumatic military experiences, and repeated deployments, may complicate their efforts to deal with those issues.

Common barriers to seeking mental health treatment services include:
  • Lack of understanding about the signs and symptoms of mental illness. 
  • Perceptions of weakness or failure. 
  • Misconceptions about the necessity and efficacy of treatment. 
  • Lack of familiarity with mental health services and resources. 
  • Belief that services are not available to them, or they don’t deserve support.


EIC is proud to celebrate our Veterans on November 11th!
Got Your 6 - PSA Title
Check out GotYour6.org for ways that you can support! 

Jon Huertas Headshot

As a Veteran, I know how multifaceted the experience of having served in the Armed Forces is. And as an actor, I know how important it is to have role models on which to base your performance. When my fellow Veterans share their stories of facing and overcoming mental health and other challenges that may be related to their military service, they provide the entertainment community with true examples of the effects—positive and negative—of service and the strengths we can use to lead fulfilling lives.” 

- Jon Huertas, Actor, Castle

Nicole Ramirez - VA pub
Real People Real Stories:
Nicole Ramirez
U.S. Army Veteran, U.S. Air Force Reserve; Desert Era, OEF, OIF

Nicole served as an active duty combat medic for the Army during the Gulf War, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom, and at present is an Air Force Reservist. Nicole’s husband served in the Army for eight years as a combat engineer, and his duties included infantry patrols in Kuwait and Iraq. Nicole and her husband reached out for support for themselves and to find effective ways to raise their children while managing the unique requirements of a dual-spouse military family. She is currently weeks away from completing her bachelor’s degree.

PT VA Pub Cover 
Portions of this newsletter adapted from

Veterans Cover CollageSuggestions for Depicting Veteran Mental Health Challenges & Solutions

For Veterans and other strong characters, the first step in living a fulfilling and healthy life is proactively addressing any type of mental health issue through treatment and services that work. Veterans, their families, and their communities are all involved in the mission of recovery.

  • When developing characters that will eventually experience mental health challenges related to their service in the Armed Forces, consider including the sequence of events and people that lead characters to seek out help. This demonstrates the reality that not all Veterans experience cataclysmic events before taking steps to find appropriate support. No matter the catalyst, the first step to diagnosing and managing any type of mental health challenge is to recognize help is needed.
  • By being proactive about their mental health, Veterans can avoid the long-term complications and consequences of an unmanaged mental health challenge. Your storylines may benefit from showcasing the screening and evaluation methods used by the U.S. Armed Forces and V.A. to proactively assess the mental health needs of Service members and Veterans. Such routine assessments may help your character find reasons behind unexplained behavior and accept support.
  • Consider showcasing characters engaging in and finding solutions from therapies tailored specifically for Veterans. Your storylines can add interest by demystifying treatment and countering negative perceptions of outdated forms of therapy with information on new and effective (but not experimental) treatment options that work.
  • In your storylines concerning Veteran mental health, consider depicting situations within families and positive encounters in the community where understanding and persistent encouragement leads your characters to discover the support and help that is available. Mental health problems can affect all those surrounding the person experiencing the immediate signs and symptoms of a given condition.

 17 APA Call For Entries
The 17th Annual PRISM Awards Call for Entries is now open!

Click here to download the full submissions packet 





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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 818-840-2016
 The 16th Annual PRISM 
Awards Showcase is available Online & On-Demand!
Featuring a Special Segment on Veterans!
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Dr. Drew Pinsky hosts the
16th Annual PRISM Awards Showcase!

Click here for the full airing schedule and check out prismawards.com 

for updates!


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