Finding Community as a Veteran in College: Tommy's Story

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The latest video produced by the Maxwell Gray Film Fellowship features Tommy, a veteran who served four years in the US Army before enrolling in school at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Tommy shares about his mental health journey and how support programs  at U-M geared to student veterans offered resources and tools for him to successfully navigate the trials and triumphs of college life. 

 Transitioning into civilian life was no walk in the park for Tommy. From struggling to find a new support system to interacting with other students who often failed to understand him, he often felt isolated and as if he didn’t belong.


“I didn’t reach out for help due to the years of being conditioned that having mental health issues meant you were soft. Still, I knew something had to change.”

 Fortunately, Tommy found the Peer Advisors for Veteran Education on campus, which provided him with resources to help him better cope with his mental health and meet other veterans on campus who understand what he has been through. This sense of community is just what Tommy needed to overcome his obstacles. He emphasizes the importance of ‘having people you can connect with’ as part of the journey to better health.

Tommy’s advice to college veterans struggling with their mental wellness is that reaching out is a sign of strength. 

Support resources for U-M student veterans:

Tommy’s video, along with past video productions can be found on the Eisenberg Family Depression Center’s Maxwell Gray Film Fellowship website.

 This project was funded by The Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation, in memory of Maxwell Gray, and the Frances and Kenneth Eisenberg Collaborative Innovations Fund at the U-M Eisenberg Family Depression Center.