This Mental Health Month, share the possibilities


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What do the words “mental health” mean to you? For some, these words bring to mind symptoms and conditions — struggles with anxiety, insomnia, anger, isolation, depression.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Mental health can also mean reconnecting with a son or daughter, realizing you don’t need alcohol and moving on, regaining confidence and going back to school, acing an interview and landing your dream job. Every day, Veterans prove that mental health means building a stronger you.

This May, in observance of Mental Health Month,  VA will highlight the life-changing outcomes and the possibilities that stem from mental health treatment. Whether you’re a Veteran sharing your story, a family member providing support, or a friend lending a hand, focusing on these positive outcomes can be a powerful way to provide encouragement and shape how Veterans and our entire nation thinks about treatment when they’re facing mental health challenges.

There’s Kionte, a Marine Corps Veteran, who’s now climbing mountains. He overcame the depression that developed after he lost part of his right leg in Afghanistan. There’s Linda, who went back to school, earned her master’s degree and now works for VA. She overcame PTSD after working as a combat trauma nurse in both the Army and the Air Force.

We encourage you to share these stories this May and visit MakeTheConnection.net/mhm to see what mental health has really meant to so many other Veterans. You can also help get the word out on your social media accounts. Join our Thunderclap and on May 10, you can use the power of social media to participate in a nationwide call to action. Sign up at our May is Mental Health Month Thunderclap page.

 

Author

Gary Hicks

is the Director of VA’s Office of Digital Media Engagement. He is a former managing editor of a daily newspaper and a Veteran of the U.S. Army. Gary’s wife is a senior master sergeant stationed at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.

Comments

  1. leo acuna    

    I, too, have experienced some issues with the VA. I have asked for help with my disabilities , but most doors were closed. My medical records have been lost, not by me, but by the VA, but they wont accept responsibility, instead they tried to blame it on the fire in St. Louis that took place in 1995 or 1994, they didn’t even brother to condsider that I retired in 1994. It’s been a battle, but I haven’t given up, almost did though. Due to my heavy drinking, while I was active duty and continued after I retired, I lost my family. My ex wife filed for a divorce while I was on last year of service. I retired six months later, tired to recover my family, but could not, mostly because of my alcoholic problem. I mostly blame myself and to some degree the VA for failing to help. Through out the years, there has been only one time frame that I had the same provider, now it’s a different provider every time they I get called in. But I will continue to knock the door at the VA, I refused to let the VA beat into the ground. I did my twenty, and I’ll get my twenty plus from the VA, one way or another. So to my fellow vets, get up and continue the fight, they (VA) want you to give up the fight and that’s not who we are. We, you and I, are one of America’s best.

  2. Gene Berard    

    I’ve been trying to get help for years after my life was destroyed by something that happened 45 years ago. Doctors both private and VA say to let it go and have tried, unsuccessfully in my eyes, different antidepressant medications. I’m now being told to give specific dates and instances from my TDY tours in Vietnam to be eligible for PTSD compensation and treatment. Mental health month—— BS. Too many vets, too little money, too many unanswered questions, too bad for me.

  3. Jamila W. Harris    

    Thank you for sharing, i think that this is a wonderful platform for myself and others suffering from Mental Health Challenges.

  4. James E Godwin    

    Your heart’s in the right place,but,at least at Dorn VA in Columbia,SC,mental health treatment is limited with hesitation or outright refusal to refer outside the VA for treatment which they can’t provide.

Comments are closed.