National PTSD Day Recognition of Survivors
We Are Not Alone.
Hello my Name is Tim Schild Formerly SFC Schild of the US ARMY where I served six years on active duty and 11 in the Reserves and National Guard. I currently work as a Peer Support Specialist for the VA.
I started working with other veterans as part of my own recovery from Depression and PTSD, One of the Ironic things I’ve learned working with other veteran who struggle with PTSD is this belief that we have to do this alone and I was guilty of this myself. The Ironic part is it is counter to all our military training and experience where we didn’t do anything alone, we worked as members of teams, squads, companies and even brigades. I want to share with you the services available in the veteran community.
The VA provides mental health services in a variety of ways. We have traditional counseling or talk therapy where you can discuss your struggles with someone, evidence based therapies which teaches us to cope with and manage stress from anxiety and depression. The VA provides this in individual and group formats. As a Peer Support Specialist I facilitate six PTSD groups a week and also provide individual supportive therapy.
There are other organizations as well that can provide support. The American Legion and VFW provide camaraderie and knowledge on Veteran Benefits, organizations that lobby for veteran benefits like the Military Veteran Coalition of Indiana and the organization I’m current president of, Tommy Who. All of these organizations give the veteran the opportunity to be apart of something again. Like myself, most of us miss the family environment of the military where we were brothers and sisters serving together for our country.
This is why it’s so important to support organizations like the Veteran National Memorial Shrine & Museum. The organization gives everyone a place to learn about the conflicts our service members have fought. This also gives the veterans a place to come and show their pride in how they sacrificed for their country, and talk to or work with other veterans.
There is a basic human need to have social connection with others and many veterans struggle with that connection because they believe no one will understand, which is particularly difficult for some combat veterans. Being able to socialize with other veterans with shared experiences can help us all realize we’re not alone, that others veterans struggle just like us, and that it’s not a weakness to be affected by the horrors of war. The last thought I would like to share is if you are struggling or just feel alone, reach out for help, it’s a strength not weakness, and if you're not struggling, please reach out and pull up your brothers and sisters. We are not alone.
Veteran Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255 Press 1.