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Veterans struggle with increased stress, isolation amid pandemic

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EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) -- With so many in-person events being canceled, coupled with the push to avoid gatherings, the lack of community and camaraderie among veterans has been devastating.

The safety measures, including stay-at-home orders, are creating an environment of loneliness and isolation. Research demonstrates a relationship between loneliness, lack of connection, depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation.

One local veteran, Travis Strong, tells KRDO that bonds between veterans are more important than ever amid the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to him and more vets relying on support groups in the community.

Strong joined the Irreverent Warrior's groups, which brings veterans together using humor and camaraderie to improve mental health and prevent veteran suicide. Many group members say that the connections veterans make become support for life and that the hike facilitates veterans' bond.

Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center also seeks to provide best practices in transition and wellness services for Veterans, Military, and their Families, while working with national and community partners, we offer a hand-up to members of the veteran community experiencing a crisis.

For a few links for sesources for Veterans, see below:

  • Irreverent Warrior bring veterans together using humor and camaraderie to improve mental health and prevent veteran suicide.
  • Mt. Carmel Veterans Service provides career and transition assistance, behavioral health and wellness, supportive services, connection to community resources, and safe event space for veterans, military members and their families.
  • The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus provides confidential, compassionate and personalized mental health care to post-9/11 veterans and their family members.
  • The El Paso County Veterans Service Office is responsible for assisting residents of the State of Colorado who served honorably in the United States Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Navy, Marine Corps or any other armed service of the nation.
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Kerjan Donovan

Kerjan is the weekend morning anchor and reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Kerjan here

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