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 – about 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 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reports that approximately 22 veterans die by suicide every day.
WHAT IS MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID?
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a live training program-like regular First Aid or CPR- that teaches you how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. This 8-hour certificate training course will teach participants how to recognize the symptoms of mental health problems, how to offer and provide initial help, and how to guide the individual to professional help, if appropriate. This course is designed to demystify the whole topic of mental illness by increasing mental health literacy and to decrease the stigma that is attached to it. By detecting the problems early, you can ensure that the person is properly treated and supported.
MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID FOR VETERANS
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. MHFA for Veterans focuses on the unique experiences and needs of the military, veteran and family population.
THE NUMBERS DON'T LIE...
Nearly 100 Mental Health First Aid courses have been provided to organizations that serve the military, veterans, and their families, including:
Army One Source, National webinar
Veterans Affairs and Veteran's Restoration Quarters in Buncombe County and the Asheville Buncombe Community Mission, NC
Delaware County Veteran Affairs, Iowa
Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri
Army National Guard and Air National Guard, Orange County, California
The University of Texas Pan American (UTPA), Texas
Wounded Warriors, Texas
California Army Guard & Reserve and U.S. Air Force personnel at Beale Air Force Base, California
Family Life Chaplains Training Center at Fort Hood, Texas
Spokane VA Medical Center, Washington
Salt Lake City VA, Utah
Veterans Administration, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Charlotte Hall Veterans Home, Maryland
Hutchinson & Kansas City National Guard Armory, Kansas
California State University Veterans Group, Pomona, California
Veteran’s Affairs Hospital, Phoenix, AZ
The National Veterans Center, Washington, DC
Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, Minnesota