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Student Veterans vs. Mental Health

Brandon Santiago | Writer

Transitioning out of the military into the civilian world can be difficult for veterans. But even more issues arise for veterans when they attend college.


According to the national advocacy group, Student Veterans of America (SVA), only 53.6% of veterans complete their college degrees.


Most veterans use the G.I. Bill to cover the costs of their tuition. The G.I. Bill is an educational benefit that veterans receive after retiring from the military. It covers most, if not all, of the tuition for further education outside of the military itself.


Many veterans have their tuition covered in full for up to 36 months of full-time credit hours, and there is no time limit on the benefits. So, why do only about half of the veterans who enroll in college complete their program? For many, it’s their mental health.


Mental health has been an issue for military service members for many years.


According to an SVA study, 46% of veteran students had thoughts of suicide, compared to 6% of non-military students.


Many military students also experience a spike in these mental health challenges when put under the pressure of college setting.


What can be done about this? Many colleges offer counseling services free of charge for all students. At Lehigh Carbon Community College’s counseling center, you can meet with a counselor and set up six to eight sessions of counseling. If the counselor or student believes more counseling is needed, they will assist you with a referral to an off-campus provider.


If student veterans are aware of the counseling services that colleges provide, the percentage of graduates and mental health issues associated with college may decrease. Look out for your fellow veterans.


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