Mental Health Support Available for Virginia Veterans Active Duty Military/Public News Service

Virginia is home to over 780,000 military veteransand an organization provides mental and emotional support.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Home Front program is a free six-course course for veterans, active duty military personnel and their families.

Mary Beth Walsh, director of programs for NAMI-Virginia, said military families often have their own unique mental and emotional needs, which the program aims to address.

“It’s an educational course that helps family members discover how they can not only help their loved ones, but also how they can focus on themselves and get support for their own needs,” Walsh explained.

In addition to NAMI’s program, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) also provides care through its specialty mental health clinics, primary care clinics, nursing homes, and residential care facilities. Walsh pointed out that NAMI also partners with VA facilities to offer peer-to-peer support programs, which emphasize connecting veterans with people who have shared experiences.

Walsh noted that the peer support model is used in NAMI’s other mental health programs, but is especially important for veterans. As she explained, military veterans have a unique culture, language and experiences.

“Being able to talk to someone who’s been there who can really say, ‘I’ve been through what you’re going through’ is such an important aspect of what can really help someone not feel so isolated and alone,” Walsh said. underline.

Dr. Rhonda Randall, executive vice president and chief medical officer of employer and individual UnitedHealthcare, said there are a few signs people should look out for if they think someone has health issues. Mental Health.

“Things that really worry you are like losing interest in things, losing feelings of happiness or pleasure, feeling helpless or hopeless,” Randall advised. “Usually we get worried when these kinds of feelings persist for more than two weeks.”

According to the federal government, more than 1.7 million veterans received mental health counseling through a VA program in fiscal year 2018. The department also has a veterans crisis hotline for emergency situations.

Disclosure: United Healthcare contributes to our health issue reporting fund. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

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