Local student raises awareness for veteran's mental health needs
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - A local student who just returned from active duty in the Army National Guard is now working to make a difference in the lives of those who serve our country.
Local 12 News sat down with a young veteran at the University of Cincinnati. His name is Taylor and he's a social work student at UC’s College of Allied Health. He is one of many young veterans who recognizes he can make a difference in the future for those who serve by raising awareness of early mental health screening to address potential risks.
After years of serving his country in the Army National Guard, Taylor Katt was on active duty until April 2016.
“I think that our life leading into the military is what dispositions us to life after the military,” said Katt.
He spent time in ministry before the National Guard and said many he met in active duty had to overcome amazing odds just to give back through military service. Getting out of active duty still left Katt feeling that he had a call to service. So he made a decision he would mirror what he learned working with the military to what he wants to do in the future. That involves something he says with mental health.
Katt’s enrolled in classes studying social work and now says he will be one of the solutions to something we are seeing in those coming out of the military, “I would love to see science move in the direction of who is more inclined to have post-traumatic stress disorder so when we are enlisting and commissioning folks into the military we understand your predisposition to end up that way.”
Katt has a grandparent that had memory problems and dementia. He says family history as well as coping skills often not taught in life may set some of those serving up for complications such as PTSD when they get out of the service.
“I can’t speak for everybody but for myself I don't do the best job associating the way I am feeling with specific events.”
So now, through education and training, Katt is raising awareness of the need for a few things early on in those who go into military service. He says screening, mental health counseling, and research could help target those at risk.
Katt is one of many veterans who are students now working to change the future for others who follow their service.
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