I think that this goes without saying at this point, but 2020 has been an extremely difficult year for many different reasons. It seemed just as we were collectively thinking, “Well, it can’t possibly get any worse”, as group we came to the realization that, “It’s 2020, of course this is going to happen!”
Our veteran community has struggled to maintain our positive mental health along with the many different groups throughout this pandemic. We as veterans already like to self-isolate and remain socially distant from the general public as a rule of thumb, however not having our usual hangouts to socialize with each other has been extremely difficult on all us. Losing our ability to use the Grass Valley Veterans Hall, our local VFW, or participate in other special events to maintain socially interactive has had a negative impact on many of us. I have even found myself asking, “Just how much family time can I possibly enjoy?”
This holiday season and the coming months have the potential to cause some real disruption in the lives of the veterans of our community. If you have a family member or friend who you have not heard from in a while, please reach out and give them a call. Ask how they are doing. If they have nothing to do for the holidays, see what you can do to make their day a little more joyous. The current pandemic has made it hard to gather, but things can be done to let someone know that we care about them.
I want you to know that your Nevada County Veterans Services Office is here to assist any veterans, spouses, or dependents of our veterans who are going through a difficult time now. We have the resources to connect a veteran to someone who can talk to them about their specific needs and challenges. Whether it be making pointed referrals for our combat veterans or assisting a spouse to connect with a PTSD support group, we can help. I have fulfilled many requests to contact a veteran who a loved one is worried about and I will continue to do so when asked. However, I need your help.
If you know of a veteran who is going through a difficult time currently, please put them in contact with your Nevada County Veterans Services Office. We can assist them with being seen by a mental health professional who understands the issues that are facing veterans at no cost. Each of our referrals are to local organizations that provide free and confidential mental health services in our community. It is important that we continue to pull together during these difficult times to ensure we do not lose any of our fellow veterans in the coming months.
David West is the Nevada County Veterans Service Officer. Reach him at (530) 265-1446 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Nevada County Veteran’s Services Office, 988 McCourtney Rd, Grass Valley, CA, is open from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.