(Photo:Flickr/US Army Africa)

An August report from the National Center for Veterans’ Studies revealed that war veterans in college need to pay close attention to their mental health, as nearly half reported thinking about suicide. As The Washington Post reports, the transition from war to college life continues to be difficult for veterans.

Twenty-three-year-old veteran Brian Hawthorne told the paper he felt like he was “on another planet.” It was a difficult transition, he said, to go “from an environment where people around you are dying every day and trying to kill you” to the halls of George Washington University.

Studying was a struggle as well, Hawthorne said: “I was very worried because I couldn’t concentrate. … I would read one page and forget what I’d just read.”

And upon visiting Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington, D.C., he was diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injury, which was caused by his proximity to bomb blasts during his two tours in Iraq.

But Hawthorne is just one of many college veterans struggling with various mental health disorders in a new life they’re not quite prepared for.

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Heather Rudow is a staff writer for Counseling Today. Email her at hrudow@counseling.org.

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