Today, in celebration of Veterans Day, we honor all veterans and war victims that selflessly fought and put their lives on the line for the protection of our country. This annual celebration serves not only as a day of appreciation for servicemen and women nationwide but also as an opportunity to bring awareness to the various health-and well-being related issues that these individuals often face as they return home to their communities. In 1954 Congress passed a bill that President Eisenhower signed proclaiming November 11th as Veterans Day. The first celebration to use the term Veterans Day happened in Birmingham, Alabama in 1947 organized by World War II veteran, Raymond Weeks. Weeks named the celebration, “National Veterans Day,” but it was officially known as Armistice Day at the time.
The city of Trenton, alone, is home to over 2,256 veterans, according to 2019 data from the United States Census Bureau, making up nearly 3.7% of its adult population, while the U.S., as a whole, is home to nearly 19 million.
Among these individuals, nearly 20% will experience mental health problems, and, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, members of the veteran community are 1.5 times more likely to die by suicide. Depression, anxiety, PTSD and substance abuse are among the most common issues and mental health problems that develop among veterans. Fortunately, there are a variety of resources available for those struggling within the Trenton community. Military men and women are trained to be in excellent physical condition, but emotional well-being should be maintained with equal care.
· Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 (Press 1) or text 838255 – Free support from a Department of Veterans Affairs responder, available 24/7 via call, text, or chat.
· Schedule an appointment at the Hamilton VA clinic or call 973-676-1000 x 1421. Services are available Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and include individual or group therapy for issues relating to PTSD, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse.
· Visit alcohol and Drug rehab centers in Trenton or call 269-248-5248 to contact a 24/7 treatment specialist.
As of 2021, nearly 1.4 million veterans in the U.S. are at risk of becoming homeless.
· National Call Center for Homeless Veterans: 1-877-424-3838
In addition to providing resources to those in need, we recognize that there also are a number of entrepreneurial success stories among local veterans, with veteran-owned businesses making up nearly 6% of businesses nationwide.