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National Council Holds Mental Health First Aid for Military, Veterans, and Their Families in Washington DC

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Washington, DC (August 21 2014) — The National Council for Mental Wellbeing held a Mental Health First Aid for Military, Veterans, and Their Familes training today for organizations representing veterans, service members, and their families. The training offered 25 individuals a simple, proven combination of information and techniques to recognize and respond to the warning signs of mental illness and addiction. Participants included Colonel Steve Parker, Executive Director, and Rory Brosius, Deputy Director, of Joining Forces, the White House’s national initiative — led by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden — to engage the nation to give service members and their families meaningful opportunities and support.

“Given the number of veterans living with untreated mental health conditions, Mental Health First Aid for Veterans is needed now more than ever,” said National Council President and CEO Linda Rosenberg. “This pioneering program gives people a tangible way to help those who have done so much for us. It recognizes the resilience and strength of our veteran community and fosters understanding, compassion, and engagement among veterans and service members and within their larger community.”

Mental Health First Aid for Veterans incorporates the unique experiences and needs of the military, veteran, and family population into the tested Mental Health First Aid program. Mental Health First Aid is listed on the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices.

Since 2008, nearly 250,000 individuals in the U.S. have completed the Mental Health First Aid course to learn how to help youth and adults with mental health and addictions concerns connect to care in their communities. Participants who complete the training include school personnel, police officers, faith leaders, health care professionals, and human resources managers. The National Council, the Missouri Department of Mental Health, and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene brought Mental Health First Aid to the US in 2008.

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The National Council for Mental Wellbeing is the unifying voice of America’s community mental health and substance use treatment organizations. Together with our 2,200 member organizations, we serve our nation’s most vulnerable citizens — the more than eight million adults and children living with mental illnesses and substance use disorders. We are committed to ensuring all Americans have access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery and full participation in community life. Learn more at

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