While only about 260 Towson University students in 2009 were active military personnel or veterans, that number is expected to grow. Students who are veterans or active military may be reluctant to seek counseling services. According to a recent article (Dingfelder, June 2009, APA Monitor on Psychology, vol. 40 (6), p. 52), "about a fifth of people returning from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are reporting symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder or major depression, and only half seek treatment.” For a discussion of concerns that active military/veteran students may have about seeking mental health counseling, please follow this link.
Towson strives to meet the unique needs of students who have or are currently serving in the military. Some of the challenges that active military or veteran students may face are:
Being older than the average student
Needing to readjust to civilian life while also adjusting to college
Adjusting to a routine that is less structured and regimented than military life
Feeling socially isolated and disconnected from your military unit
Having experiences to which other non-military students cannot relate
Heightened awareness of your environment (necessary for survival on the battlefield) leading to concentration difficulties in the classroom
Coping with grief and trauma (invisible injuries) as well as physical injuries
Uncertainty about the possibility of reactivation and deployment
Worry/concern over your ability to succeed academically
These are normal challenges for veterans/active military students. While you should be patient with yourself and give yourself time to get used to your new environment, you might also consider using the resources below as they will help you to:
Connect with other military/veteran students with whom you share similar experiences
Locate academic resources to help you with your classes
Locate resources to help you address difficulties adjusting to non-military life and cope with both visible and invisible injuries
PTSD Coach was developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs' National Center for PTSD in collaboration with T2. The goal was to develop a mobile app to assist veterans and active duty personnel and civilians who are experiencing symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is intended to be used as an adjunct to psychological treatment, but can also serve as a stand-alone education tool.