Based on research by Rudd, M. David, Goulding, Jeffery, and Bryan, Craig J. (2011) written by Mara Rowcliffe, MS.
Over 2.5 million veterans have returned home from decade-long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Large numbers make use of available higher education benefits to return to campus. What mental health challenges should veteran students be prepared to handle?
Psychologist M. David Rudd and colleagues conducted a nation-wide study to evaluate the psychological symptoms and suicide risk among current student veterans. They surveyed 628 veteran students on questions pertaining to mental health symptom severity and suicidal thoughts.
Their results indicated that approximately 35% of the participants reported experiencing “severe anxiety,” 24% “severe depression,” and 45% indicated having difficulties associated with posttraumatic stress disorder. Most troubling, 46% had considered suicide, with 20% having a specific plan. The data gathered throughout this study is alarming. It suggests that many student veterans are experiencing extraordinary challenges associated with transitioning from military to collegiate life.
If you or someone you know is a student veteran going through a transition, seek support, including establishing a relationship with a therapist at the Campus Counseling Center. College campuses offer a wide range of services to help promote success.
Rudd, M. D., Goulding, J., & Bryan, C. J. (2011). Student Veterans: A National Survey Exploring Psychological Symptoms and Suicide Risk. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 42, 5, 354
–360. DOI: 10.1037/a0025164