VA Maryland Health Care System Helps Veterans Struggle With Pandemic

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Some 43 years later, a local woman struggling with the trauma of rape says the pandemic has added to her hardship. A new program through Maryland’s veterans health care system is helping her and others cope. survivor of military sexual trauma, “said Margaret Hill-Grigson. That may have been over 40 years ago, but Hill-Grigson still suffers from being raped in the Navy.” There is has no part of life that rape doesn’t affect, “she said. At that point her concerns were dismissed and she was then fired before she completed her enlistment. Now a disabled vet with PTSD, she frequents survivor groups, knits and gardens to stay mentally healthy. But when the coronavirus pandemic hit, she isolated herself and went back into depression. “I tended to be depressed. to be isolated simply for the sake of security. It only made it worse, “she said. Luckily for her, the VA Maryland Health Care System has launched a new program called VA Connection Plans to help veterans get through tough times. uses a holistic approach to physical, mental and social well-being. “You have a first meeting with one of our counselors and they get to know the veteran and identify what is really important to him, regarding the challenges they face and priorities for their well-being. Then they co-create goals, so at least one goal of physical, mental and social connection, “health researcher Samantha Hack said. Hill-Grigson started again to knitting, gardening and socializing.from your comfort zone to re-enter the world. Even if it’s not in person, you can always stretch out again in a Zoom meeting with friends or while on the phone or by going out and playing in the mud in your garden, ”she said. The VA Maryland Health Care System launched the program in December 2020. There are 40 registered veterans. As for Hill-Grigson, she said the program is slowly helping her come to herself. Veterans who wish to participate in the Connection Plans Project should call 443-421-6270.

Some 43 years later, a local woman struggling with the trauma of rape says the pandemic has added to her hardship. A new program through Maryland’s veterans health care system is helping her and others cope.

“I was 19 when I enlisted. It was in 1979. I did my basic training in Orlando, Florida while I was in basic training. I survived a sexual trauma. military, ”said Margaret Hill-Grigson.

It may have been over 40 years ago, but Hill-Grigson still suffers from being raped in the Navy.

“There is no part of life that rape does not affect,” she said.

Hill-Grigson said at that point her concerns were dismissed and she was subsequently fired before completing her enlistment. Now a disabled vet with PTSD, she frequents survivor groups, knits and gardens to stay mentally healthy. But when the coronavirus pandemic struck, she isolated herself and slipped back into depression.

“I tended to be isolated just for the sake of safety. It just made it worse,” she said.

Lucky for her, the VA Maryland Health Care System has launched a new program called VA Connection Plans to help veterans get through this difficult time. The program uses a holistic approach to physical, mental and social well-being.

“You have a first meeting with one of our interventionists and they get to know the veteran and identify what is really important to him, in terms of the challenges he is facing and the priorities for his well-being. , they co-create goals, so at least one goal for body, mind and social connection, ”said health researcher Samantha Hack.

Hill-Grigson has returned to knitting, gardening and socializing.

“You have to step out of your comfort zone to re-enter the world. Even if it’s not in person, you can still develop yourself again in a Zoom meeting with friends or by calling or going out and playing mud in your garden, ”she said.

The VA Maryland Health Care System launched the program in December 2020. There are 40 registered veterans. As for Hill-Grigson, she said the program is slowly helping her recover.

Veterans who wish to participate in the Connection Plans project should call 443-421-6270.

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