This story originally appeared on 6abc.
The news and images coming out of Afghanistan have sparked local veterans to reach out for help with their mental health. Philadelphia’s VA Medical Center reports an increase in calls to the crisis line.
And the team there is ready to help. Experts say the news coming out of Afghanistan can be triggering for all veterans but especially servicemen and women who spent time there.
Doctor David Oslin, chief of Behavioral Health at Philadelphia’s Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center, says veterans are reporting a range of emotions.
“From anger to feelings of being let down, to not knowing what is going to happen in the future, sort of despondency,” he said.
He says the speed of the unraveling in Afghanistan caught a lot of people off-guard which can spark even stronger feelings. Those who served in the country are also left with worry and concern for the people left behind.
He recommends veterans here connect with friends and family also seek professional help if needed. “The things that I would worry about are isolation, feeling like you can’t process this and it’s just stuck with you or… any kind of sleep problems, nightmares, night terrors… and then more severe things like thoughts about death or dying or suicide,” Oslin said.
The crisis hotline for veterans is 1-800-273- 8255, then press one. The VA center has an emergency room open 24-7.
Oslin says they stand with veterans and want to help everyone get through this troubling time.
VHA mental health services, including how family members can assist a Veteran in crisis
Veterans Crisis Line: Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 press 1
Finding local mental health services and resources: Resources | Videos & Info for Military Veterans | Make the Connection
Information on how to access immediate care and/or book a mental health appointment: VA Mental Health Services | Veterans Affairs
Vet Center resources are also available and include counseling, there is also a toll-free number: 877-WAR-VETS
From the National Center for PTSD:
AFGHANISTAN: HOW VETERANS CAN RECONCILE SERVICE From Vantage Point