Veterans have more help dealing with emotional issues

Updated: May. 23, 2021 at 8:40 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Cohen Clinic at Alaska Behavioral Health in East Anchorage brought together veterans, and those still serving, to share stories Friday. It’s a way to help them cope with the stress of military life.

Kailee Rubright spent eight years in the Air Force, that included two tours overseas.

“Overall it was a really good experience,” Rubright said. “I’d do it again in a heart beat.”

She moved cargo and passengers while she served before she left the service in 2017. Rubright had her physical health. The same can not be said for her emotional well being.

“I was diagnosed with PTSD before I separated,” said Rubright. “That was not the reason for separating though.”

Rubright got treatment, and is doing a lot better. The same can not be said for others.

The U.S. Veterans Administration released a report in 2020 that found close to 20 veterans take their own lives everyday. They suffered such things as depression, and self-destructive behaviors.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The clinic focuses on mental health all year. But, there’s an extra emphasis as we continue coming out of winter.

“Some of our military members, and veterans are experiencing depression, or they’re just not the same,” said Clinic Director MaryBeth Goodman.

She pointed out the warning signs are easy to spot.

“It might look like a sleep issue. It might look like you’re crankier with your spouse. You’re not going to that Wednesday coffee that you normally always went to. You’re not finding reasons to go to the grocery store anymore.”

“I think it’s wonderful. I think it should be far bigger than it is. The word should be bigger than it is,” said Rubright as she’s grateful there’s another place where she and other veterans can go for help.

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