Therapists believe honoring a veteran’s mental health matters for Memorial Day

Experts encourage you to also consider living veterans on Memorial Day.
Published: May. 28, 2023 at 8:00 PM EDT
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SHENANDOAH VALLEY, Va. (WHSV) - Licensed Professional Counselor Janita Daggy works as an EMT when she is not at Thriveworks in its Charlottesville branch. She believes that living veterans should not be forgotten on Memorial Day.

“They have also served; they have also been in conflict. They have also been where those who have served lost their lives, and they have stood beside those that have lost their lives,” Daggy said.

She said some veterans who made it home may deal with survivor’s guilt around this time of year.

“Surviving when your friends or comrades didn’t make it in the situation [could be] leading to emotional distress or unworthiness, and often leading to a struggle of meaning or purpose,” she added.

Daggy believes acknowledging and supporting all veterans’ mental health is vital. She said issues like post-traumatic stress disorder are not on break for the holiday weekend.

“This brings up the memories; this brings up their own traumas, even those that have experienced abuse within the military system, and that trauma comes up and it’s a remembrance of that,” Daggy said.

She has noticed that military members who have fought tend to isolate after coming home. Loved ones can support a veteran’s mental health by being a support system.

“There are other ways to look at the steps of moving forward whether that’s finding hobbies or physical exercise, other creative outlets,” Daggy said.

Daggy finds healing to be mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual where self-care goes a long way in the process — expressing that it is okay for veterans to take care of themselves wanting them to know they are important enough for self-care too.