“Veterans need to return to normal life and feel themself needed ASAP” – an American military psychologist
And if the systematic rehabilitation of former front-line soldiers is not established, Ukrainian society may face an increase in cases of domestic violence, abuse of psychotropic drugs, and an increase in the number of suicides. This opinion was expressed by Dr. Joshua Kreimeyer, a military psychologist, associate professor of the Department of Clinical Counseling on Mental Health at Colorado Christian University, during a briefing at the Media Center Ukraine – Odesa.
He said that since February 2022, he helped to train a few hundred specialists in Ukraine who work veterans and their post-traumatic stress disorder.
He also gave some advice on what can be done to help war veterans get back to normal life as soon as possible. “A completely different person returns from the war. This must be understood, and if the veteran’s family understands this, it is a significant step forward. You cannot ask a veteran about his military experience. It is necessary to create such situations in which she herself will want to share this, and then it will be possible to help her,”– the specialist said.
He added that it is very important that the veteran returns to his routine, pre-war life as soon as possible.
“For example, if the father reads fairy tales to the child at night, it is necessary to return to this. We also have to understand that when someone from the family goes to war, his partner is entrusted with additional household duties of the person who left. And when a veteran returns, it is necessary to return to him the functions that he performed in the family before the war,” – Dr. Kreimeyer said.
He also noted that it is very significant for a person who went to the front, after returning to civilian life, to feel needed by society again.
“In USA and Western countries, there is an organization called “The Mission Continues”, in which many veterans are involved. They find new ways to help society – for example, to eliminate the consequences of disasters. And they feel useful again,” – the specialist added.
And if such conditions are not created for former front-line soldiers, Ukrainian society may face an increase in cases of domestic violence, abuse of psychotropic drugs, and an increase in the number of suicides, Dr. Kreimeyer believes.
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