A devastating mental health crisis is affecting our veterans and our current health care system is failing them. One in five veterans who served in either Iraq or Afghanistan suffers from either depression or PTSD and the rate of suicide for this group is 20 per day. Clearly mental health issues in veterans are almost as threatening as their service. Men and women put their lives on the line to serve our country and deserve treatment that is equally strong.
The documentary, “Thank You for Your Service,” playing in select theaters now, addresses many facets of this issue. The documentary sheds light on the neglect for veteran care as well as providing some hopeful alternatives. The film follows the return home of four Iraq veterans and their struggles to assimilate. Key players in the discussion including former Defense Secretary Robert Gates and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani are also featured.
The documentary’s main purpose is to illustrate the struggles facing war veterans and the solutions that our government is missing. For example, drugs and traditional psychotherapy are costly, inaccessible and ineffective in most cases so they explore nontraditional options. “Ecotherapy,”(previously discussed here), is one such alternative. Ecotherapy includes immersion in nature and cultivating a relationship to land and animals. Spending time in nature is virtually free for most people and has tremendous mental and physical health benefits.
“Thank You for Your Service” highlights the inverse relationship between public funding and positive results in healthcare. Simple solutions are often overlooked because there is simply too much money to be made in pharmaceuticals and organized health. Spending time in nature is free and can be accessed by anyone if we encourage that relationship. Natural resources provide therapy, education, and promote a sustainable way for us all to co-exist so they must not be ignored.
“Thank You for Your Service” won the Impact award at the Illuminate Festival and was the overall winner at the GI Film Festival earlier this year. Follow the link below to learn more about screenings near you and how you can host a one in your own neighborhood. Bringing this film to your community is one small step towards improving help that our veterans desperately need.
View the trailer here: http://www.thankyouforyourservicethefilm.com/
We believe Nature Partners properties, especially our under-utilized Boy Scouts camps, are a great venues for these Ecotherapy programs. These venues are beautiful, in nature, most have high/low ropes courses and can facilitate groups of all sizes. Our hope is to work with Veterans groups across the country and support their efforts to find a place, in nature, that can support these type of programs.