Community support isn’t just about helping the families of military members while they are deployed. Sometimes it’s about support when they return home.
For Scott Hall, of Dayton, OH, it’s about combining his life’s work with his passion for serving. Hall served 12 years of active and inactive duty in the Army Reserves. Now, he teaches at the University of Dayton in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
Alongside his teaching, he owns a mental health practice – Highlander Counseling, where he often works with veterans.
Originally from North Carolina, Scott’s father was in the Marine Corps. In the early 1980s, Scott followed suit and joined ROTC and then the Army in 1985.
In South Carolina, he served in a combat engineering unit and, in Ohio, he served in a special forces unit where he focused on psychological operations and was a paratrooper.
“[The military] shaped what I do today,” Scott said. “I used to be scared to death of getting up in front of people to talk. It helps you gain a level of confidence in the face of adversity and in life. […] It’s an experience that fundamentally builds character, builds a level of resilience, and a moral compass.”
He said, over the years, society as a whole has developed a deeper appreciation for what it means to be a veteran, and that’s a good thing.
This includes providing mental health support. Today, as he counsels vets, he pays attention to the mental, emotional, physical, social, and spiritual health of the person.
“We don’t go through life as individuals,” he said. “What helps us function in a healthy way are those relationships we have. It makes the community stronger. It’s not just about the veteran. It’s about the family and the community. It’s a healthier dynamic when families and the community support veterans.”
Hall said mental health support is essential and he hopes to provide a safe space for those who need it.