AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — In the wake of a shooting at a V.A. in Atlanta, Dr. Nguyen “Tom” Griggs joined us on Today in Amarillo on Wednesday to talk about mental health and healthcare worker safety.

Griggs said that many veterans face barriers to mental health treatment, including shame, stigma, and a lack of understanding. They also face logistical barriers like long wait times, travel distance, and assumptions from providers based on demographics.

According to a report by the National Veterans Foundation, many crisis call center counselors find untreated issues of isolation and loneliness, which can lead to substance abuse, relationship problems, and violent behavior.

Dr. Griggs said that there are four types of anxiety:

Generalized: Worrying about a range of areas in their life, including work, schools, health, relationships, and family.

Social: A person feels overly nervous or anxious about being around crowds or small social gatherings. This stops them from participating at times or they might isolate themselves in those situations.

Panic Attacks: Sudden and almost crippling fear that can cause people to feel as if they are losing control and even make them fear for their lives. Symptoms can include stomach pain, dizziness, heart racing, or palpitations.

Specific Phobias: People with phobias such as needles, spiders, heights, or enclosed spaces could have them triggered during anxiety.

You can learn more about Dr. Nguyen “Tom” Griggs here.

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