Our Health and Wellness program team consists of extremely passionate individuals who are dedicated to serving and supporting veterans and military families through our individualized pipeline of care. To them, the message of YOU MATTER runs deep as it is a conversation they often have each day with veterans seeking treatment. 

Read below with their takeaways on the message and what it means to each of them.  

What does the YOU MATTER campaign mean to you?

“The most powerful act is to let someone know that they are an essential part of your life. The YOU MATTER campaign allows me to express that to those who are important in my life by reminding them that they matter, but it also allows me to say that to someone I don’t know who may be having difficulty in their life as well.

Since the start of the Boot Campaign’s YOU MATTER campaign, I have intentionally used this phrase consistently to let others know that they do matter to me. When I see the reaction from them acknowledging what they heard, it is a powerful moment of discovery in their eyes that someone sees them. I truly love this phrase, as short as it is, it carries a mighty touch.”

 – U.S. Army Staff Sergeant (Ret.) Sarah Lucas, Case Manager

 

“Depression and other mental health conditions are often accompanied by thoughts of sadness, worthlessness, despair, etc. but a complete loss of hope is often the driving factor in someone making the decision to follow through with actually ending their life.

If we can provide even one little glimmer of hope to someone by letting them know that they aren’t alone and there is actually hope for a brighter future (even if it is marginally so) then we’ve done our job. I often fear that there is a never-ending need for what we do… like it will never stop no matter how hard I try and how hard I work. That’s probably true on a very factual level, but I have to remind myself that if we save even one veteran that makes a huge difference in the lives of a lot of folks. I am truly rewarded when I hear about someone we’ve helped (especially those who came to us in major distress, on the verge of suicide) doing well and giving back to help other veterans.” 

– Jenny Wright Howland, PSYD, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Director 

 

“Healing happens when we matter to ourselves. In other words, when we value, love, and care for ourselves, we grow to a point of self-acceptance and self-love. We show up differently in the world and see the good things right in front of us.”

– Dianna Purvis Jaffin, PhD, PMP, Certified Exercise Physiologist and Neuroscientist Science and Resilience Advisor

 

“One of the most common reasons I hear veterans refusing care is ‘I don’t want to take a place from another veteran’ or ‘there are folks out there who need these services more than I do. YOU MATTER is a clear and direct message that acknowledges that an individual’s struggles are valid no matter the degree; that their healing is important no matter the size of their wound, and that their place in this world is just as valuable as anyone else’s.

The directness of the message, the ‘YOU,’ also implies that they are not alone. It signifies a second party in the conversation… that there is a community here, able and ready to provide support. In other words, it is our organization raising its hand to let the crowd know that we see them and we are here for them. Even if we don’t have the capacity to serve every single person that needs help, we do our best to serve those that we can and to inspire others to do so as well; to lift even the slightest burden or weight, whatever that may mean. What I also love about this message is that it spans past just veterans. Every single person struggles and I think it is important for every single person to know that they are not alone. It isn’t divisive; it is a message for all of us.” 

– Lindsay Campbell, Program Manager