Endeavors is helping Veterans face challenges with a first of its kind Veterans Wellness Center.
A man slowly strolls up and down the side of a busy intersection with a sign that reads, “Homeless Vet, anything helps.” As cars pass by, people hold out cash and change as the man walks up to their windows. This scene is an all too familiar one. No Veteran of the United States military should have to face this situation… but he is. How did he get there and why can’t he get help?
Men and women in America have always been willing to answer the call to duty by joining the armed forces. The United States military is the most well-respected fighting force in the world, which is due to the outstanding individuals that are willing to make so many sacrifices in order to protect the freedoms that are guaranteed in America. However, once their time in the service is over, too many Veterans struggle with the return to civilian life.
Veteran Challenges after Service
Right after leaving the service, many Veterans lack the skills necessary to compete in the civilian job market. Their training in the military is often very specialized and specific to their role in the services, which do not always transfer after they get out. The military also provides a strict structure and set of rules. Once this is taken away, it can be difficult for Veterans to adjust to this new unregulated lifestyle. For service members, the military offers a community built based upon their shared experiences. That comradery is nearly impossible to duplicate in civilian life and can leave a void that is tough to fill.
Another issue that affects our Veterans is the invisible wounds they suffer from. A number of Veterans who served in Afghanistan and Iraq have experienced traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). More than two out of every ten Veterans with PTSD also struggle with substance abuse. This form of self-medicating to deal with past trauma can be very dangerous. It can also have a negative effect on employment opportunities and be a contributing factor to a more unstable lifestyle. These challenges are hard to overcome without help. Instead of having to self medicate, Veterans need access to appropriate medical care.
What will Endeavors Veteran Wellness Center Offer?
Veterans will have access to medical care at the new $5 million Veteran’s Wellness Center which Endeavors broke ground on in San Antonio, Texas last November. With Texas trailing only California in Veteran population, San Antonio is the ideal place to have a multitude of wellness services provided all in one space. From mental health to physical health to holistic health, this center will offer Veterans many services that will help them and their families deal with life after the military.
Mental Health: psychiatric services and medication management, evidence-based psychotherapy, group therapy, art therapy, and intensive outpatient therapy.
Physical Health: health coaching and screenings, nutritional support, individual exercise equipment, group fitness, yoga, and tai chi.
Holistic Health: massage therapy, acupuncture, mindfulness and meditation classes, functional medicine treatment, and Vet TRIIP Services.
The center offers wellness education and supportive services that include:
- Support Groups
- Client Educational Classes
- Professional Development Trainings
- Peer Support
- Volunteer Opportunities
- Drop-in Childcare
The Center will offer virtual care through a secure web-based platform beginning July 1st, prior to the building being opened to the public, thanks in part to a grant from the Texas Veterans Commission. The services offered through this virtual care program include counseling, case management, and health coaching.
These services are collaborative by providing primary health care, coordinating dental care, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.
The Veterans Wellness Center gives Veterans a sense of community that they may have been missing since leaving the military, letting them know they are not alone with the problems they may be facing. Knowing someone else is experiencing a similar situation as you are can go a long way in helping you get well.
The Center will focus on suicide prevention to combat the issue of death by suicide within the Veteran community. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the rate of death by suicide for Veterans is seventeen per day. This rate is higher than their civilian counterparts for both men and women. With such a high number of Veterans dying by suicide, the Veteran’s Wellness Center is committed to understanding what the causes of this are and how to best help.
The Wellness Center keeps the whole Veteran in mind. Endeavors is devoted to providing services that heal both body and mind. Health problems that do not manifest themselves physically are often the most difficult to treat and can be the most harmful to an individual. Having all the services under one roof ensures that Veterans know that they are available and allows for easy access to them.
Empowering Veterans Through Wellness
Endeavors believes in six principles of wellness that can assist the overall well-being of an individual.
Mind-body – Making sure physical and mental health is a priority in medical care, as well as holistic treatments
Connectedness – Connecting people together to decrease feelings of isolation
Spiritual – Harnessing spiritual diversity to reach one’s deepest needs
Environmental – Connecting with the natural world
Economic – Understanding how financial wellbeing is connected to overall health
Knowledge – Improving and enhancing overall health through being informed
Using these six principles when designing and implementing programs at the Wellness Center, Endeavors will empower veterans to be in the best position possible for success.
Who Endeavors’ Wellness Center Serves
The new Veterans Wellness Center is committed to serving the following groups when the site is opened in the spring of 2021:
- All Veterans and any person who has served in the U.S. Armed Forces, including the National Guard and Reserves
- Family members as determined (this includes parents, siblings, spouses or partners, children, caretakers, and others) by the Veteran
- Those in the community that care for our Veterans and their families
For more information on the Veteran Wellness Center, please contact:
[email protected] | 210-431-6466
To subscribe to our Veteran Wellness Center mailing list, click here.
Endeavors is a longstanding national non-profit that provides an array of programs and services in support of children, families, Veterans, and those struggling with mental illness and other disabilities. Endeavors serves vulnerable people in crisis through innovative personalized services. For more information, please visit www.endeavors.org.