Army veteran says pandemic has impacted the mental health of many veterans

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The annual survey indicates that when Warriors socially distanced themselves, 52% of them said their mental health was the worst.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla .– According to the annual Warrior 2020 survey which had 28,000 veteran participants, at the height of the pandemic and when social distancing measures were put in place, this created additional mental and physical health and financial challenges for warriors.

The annual survey indicates that when Warriors socially distanced themselves, 52% of them said their mental health was the worst and 49% said their physical health was the worst.

“Clearly this is causing problems and I think it ultimately costs lives,” said Army veteran Blayne Lannan.

Lannan attended the five-star veterans center in Jacksonville.

Lannan says when the pandemic hit, the veterans’ core program changed immediately.

“In terms of accountability and face to face contact with providers… it almost changed overnight,” Lannan said.

Lannan says this transition not only affected him, but other veterans as well.

“There’s something about this human interaction and it’s really hard for me to express it,” Lannan said.

“I mean just being able to sit across from someone or pet a dog or go have a soda on the street anyway, two people who aren’t in a clinical situation might respond,” said Rory Diamond, CEO of K9s for Warriors.

Diamond says their nonprofit has a primarily in-person support system and is available to veterans 24/7.

“There is definitely a lot we can do, especially when we can make good, warm transfers to resources locally,” Diamond said.


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