Social Media Supports Our Troops

BBC News has published a story discussing how Facebook, Twitter and other SM techniques can be used to support veterans after they return from service overseas.  I can see great strength and great potential in this approach.  Military units survive unbelievably trying circumstances largely through unit cohesiveness and mutual support, and I can only imagine how deeply the loss of this support is felt after units return from overseas and individuals begin to go their separate ways.

These SM links will allow veterans to keep in touch with each other and with others who have shared their experiences, and will allow veterans’ advocates and caregivers the ability to monitor for concerns or problems that might need attention.  This approach can be of tremendous benefit if it allows veterans to work out service-related emotional issues that might otherwise develop into symptoms of depression or PTSD.  It could also allow caregivers to look for veterans who appear to be struggling to re-acclimate to civilian life and connect them with necessary resources to ease the transition.

These SM approaches prove the benefit of social networks in both promoting health and wellness, and also in impacting and changing individual behavior.  Considering the well-documented mental health challenges that veterans face and the large number of veterans of our current conflicts overseas, SM stands to fill a critical and increasing need.


One Response to Social Media Supports Our Troops

  1. carmen2u says:

    Bravo to the Dept. of Veteran Affairs for taking the leap into social media and using this tool to reach out to veterans. With 71,000 followers, the Dept. is definitely striking a chord with their service men and women. The linchpin behind better mental health is having support networks, so anything that serves that purpose is a good thing. Just as it is important to thank the military for their service, it is equally important to ask them “how are you doing?” Given the gravity of PTSD, where there are warning signs, extend assistance. Remember the suicide hotline for Veterans is 1-800-273-TALK.

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