From Colorado Public Radio: “Peer support programs for veterans have become common around the country, both through the Department of Veterans Affairs and through independent groups like Battle Buddy Bridge. Some studies have concluded that the programs can improve mental health, self-esteem, and social functioning for former service members.
When Robert Hernandez got involved with Battle Buddy Bridge, his life began to change. He says he quit binge drinking and enrolled in college courses. Then he trained to be a paid peer support specialist, and he is now the organization’s program manager. He saw first-hand the value of having veterans help each other.
‘It was easier for us to converse with each other than talk to somebody that was a social worker, doctor, or one of our therapists,’ Hernandez said …
‘I felt comfortable talking to [my mentor] about certain things, whereas I didn’t with other people,’ [one vet] said. ‘It is relieving. I could just come in anytime.'”