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Mental health expert recommends veterans reach out one another

1 month 3 weeks 1 day ago Tuesday, August 31 2021 Aug 31, 2021 August 31, 2021 8:28 AM August 31, 2021 in News - Local

Shock and anger is what some Valley veterans are feeling after the U.S. recently pulled out from Afghanistan.

Mental health experts are now recommending veterans reach out to other veterans.

Local veteran George Rice joined the military right after Sept. 11. Rice says he agrees with the war ending, but says he disagrees with the way in which many U.S. allies and contractors were left to their own devices when trying to evacuate as the Taliban took control.

RELATED: Last troops exit Afghanistan, ending America's longest war  

Last Saturday, Rice organized an early morning walk in Mission, something he says allowed veterans to step out of the anger and sadness they have felt. Nearly 200 people showed up.

"I think that the feelings make sense and that the main thing that we want to do is provide support,” said Sarly Butte with the Mental Health Trauma Center at UT Health Houston. “So just be there, to listen. To allow that space for veterans to share whatever that emotion is that they're experiencing."

Mental health experts recommend veterans speak with each other about what they're going through and that family and friends not make intrusive questions, but rather ask how they're doing, tell them you're there for them and most of all, listen.

One support group for Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans in Brownsville tell us says talking with other veterans has been lifesaving.

If you're a veteran in search for help, you can call the local VA mental health office at 956-291-9129.

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