Mental Health First Aid is a valuable resource that can make a difference in the lives of the more than 22 million veterans, their families, and the communities they live in.
Family members and personnel working with military and families are often not aware of how to engage veterans with mental illnesses and addictions. In addition to the impact of military service on the veteran, each has a circle of family (significant other, children, parents, siblings, etc.) and friends who are also impacted by their military service.
While military service often fosters resilience in individuals and families, some service members may experience mental health or substance use challenges. Thirty percent of active duty and reserve military personnel deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan have a mental health condition requiring treatment – approximately 730,000 men and women, with many experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder and major depression. Sadly, less than 50 percent of returning veterans in need receive any mental health treatment. The Veterans Administration reports that approximately 20 veterans die by suicide every day.
Individuals trained in Mental Health First Aid can help to:
Key components of the module for military members, veterans and their families include:
“[Military-Veteran Mental Health First Aid] is definitely a class that I would recommend to anyone in a situation to respond to military members crisis. I feel better equipped to assist in mental health incidents since attending.”
Jeannie Campbell, National Council Chief Operating Officer and Navy Veteran, describes the importance of addressing veterans mental health and how Mental Health First Aid can help.
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