Getting support from friends

by Shayne

(Tullahoma, Tennessee, USA)

I am a student nurse about to hold a group meeting at our VA Psych Ward on Support Systems and I would like to know the best ways that vets can approach the subject of asking their friends and family for support.

Body, Mind and Spirit

by: Debbie Wicker

Dear Shayne,

What a great topic for returning vets to discuss!

All of us here at believe that good mental health starts by taking care of “Body, Mind and Spirit”.

What does that mean for these returning vets?


If they have suffered any physical injuries from their service they need to let their friends and family know the nature of their injuries and what support they may need as a result of them.

Communicating about their needs in this area can be very personal but it will help their loved ones to know how to help. What may be obvious to the vet may not be to their relatives who are TOTALLY unfamiliar with the situation.


Emotional support is one of the keys for the vets to successfully reintegrate back in to their life. While they were gone everyone has moved on and established new patterns and new experiences.

The vet should try to make an effort to reconnect with all their friends and family one-on-one so they each can talk about their lives the “good, the bad and the ugly” since the vet left. This should hopefully start the process of re-socialization so critical for the emotional health of the vet.

This is not asking for help, it’s re-connecting with everyone in a close way so that both get something from the renewed relationship.


This is so often over looked and so very critical to mental health and strong support. What ever the spiritual back ground of the vet they need to reconnect or maybe connect for the first time with this part of themselves.

Meeting with a spiritual person/minister/pastor/chaplain and a group of like-minded spiritual people can be a SO beneficial for the vet to feel part of a community and to benefit from the friendships and support found in the spiritual realm.

Good luck with your presentation it really does sound like a marvelous topic!

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