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Department of Veterans Affairs Mental Health Month Initiative

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

As part of its mental health initiative, the Department of Veterans Affairs has declared May as VA Mental Health Month. The VA is committed to making veterans’ mental health care a top priority, and observes Mental Health Month every May in recognition of the resilience of those who have served our country, to honor their sacrifices, and to learn and be inspired by their amazing stories.

The initiative, Make the Connection, aims to observe Mental Health Month by highlighting and celebrating the many different moments that can make up a mental health journey: the little victories and the major turning points.

The story of one Navy Veteran on such a journey is that of Richard, a Navy Veteran who overcame a time in his life after the service when he was lost, lonely, and wondering if he even wanted to live anymore.

Richard began a substance abuse treatment program through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. “That meeting saved my life,” he recalled.

Richard is now a Disabled Veterans Outreach Program specialist in California, where he helps Veterans secure employment.

“I’m so glad that my mom has had a chance to see me sober, because she’s seen me at my worst,” he said. “And to hear my mom say, ‘Oh I’m so proud of you — life is good.”

Whether you are a veteran sharing your story with a professional, or a family member providing support to a veteran in need, every moment marks an opportunity to take a step forward; to lend a hand; to change the conversation about mental health.

If you are a veteran who needs mental health support or would like to learn more about how you can support the veterans in your life, we encourage you to visit MaketheConnection.net/MHM for more information and to hear other veterans share their journey to better mental health.

You can also stay up to date throughout the month by following the VA on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.