PHILADELPHIA, PA, August 28, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Yasmin Malhotra
believes in the importance of caring for a person's emotional well being, and as a result she is lending her support to a new piece from The New York Times that discusses how veterans are turning to other vets for mental health support. Conditions often prove difficult for soldiers as they return home and try to get readjusted to life as a civilian. However, new measures will make it easier for these people to have easy access to the mental health care they require.
Bryan Escobedo, a 28-year-old retired member of the Marine Corps, knows about this experience firsthand. He served three tours of duty in Iraq, and earned a Purple Heart when he survived an attack after insurgents bombed his vehicle. But Escobedo notes that his time in a war zone left him dealing with severe post-traumatic stress, as well as anxiety and depression. He explains that peer support and counseling were two of the most important strategies he relied upon in order to feel emotionally well once again.
Escobedo states, "I know what it's like to have the world lose all of its vibrancy and just go into this spiral. But I know how to come back from it, and that's what my job is. We're the men and women that decided to get better, and to become an advocate for people."
Now, Escobedo draws upon his past experience as a full-time peer counselor and public relations manager at the Lone Star Veterans Association in Houston. He also works as a volunteer coordinator with the Military Veteran Peer Network. This organization, based in Texas, is a state-financed program that has about 1,000 veterans who devote their time and energy to getting soldiers reacquainted with civilian life.
The Departments of Defense and Veteran Affairs note that about 20 percent of the 250,000 men and women who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan will later require mental health care. The organizations also have released another alarming statistic, noting that an average of 22 veterans take their own lives each day.
Recently, state lawmakers in Texas mandated increases to veterans' access to mental health care professionals, and also appropriated $4M in the State Health Services' annual budget in order to provide care for veterans and their families. This extra money will help service members connect with peer volunteers, thus allowing them to get the support they need. It will also pay for 10 additional coordinators and seven licensed mental health professionals, while increasing the network to 1,500 peer-to-peer volunteers.
"Veterans' mental health is an extremely important issue, and it's one that deserves plenty of time and attention. These groups do great work and provide invaluable services to those who have fought for our country," states Yasmin Malhotra.
is passionate about getting all people the mental health care they need and deserve in order to enable them to live a long and full life. She is also an active philanthropist, and regularly lends her time to charitable organizations in her area. One of her favorite ways to donate her time is by reading to elderly individuals in her community, thus providing them with a source of entertainment and companionship.