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Mental Health First Aid for Veterans Launches

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Rebecca Farley

Director, Policy & Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

Mental Health First Aid for Veterans Launches

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The National Council, along with leaders from veterans service organizations and fellow mental health advocates, today launched a new training program – Mental Health First Aid for Veterans – that offers participants a simple, proven combination of information and techniques to recognize and respond to the warning signs of mental illness and addiction.

The innovative new program was developed by and for service members. An estimated 30 percent of active duty and reserve military personnel who deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan have mental health conditions requiring treatment – about 730,000 men and women – with many experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder and major depression. The National Council pioneered Mental Health First Aid in the U.S. and has trained more than 180,000 individuals to connect with youth and adults in need of mental health and addictions care in their communities. This new program builds on that successful effort.

“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.”

Rosenberg was joined by former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, Tom Tarantino with the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Theresa Buchanan with the National Military Family Association, and Mental Health First Aid for Veterans instructors and trainees.

Visit our website for more information on Mental Health First Aid for veterans and military personnel.

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