Are you familiar with the topic of mental health and comfortable talking about it? Our mental health helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others and make healthy choices, so it’s definitely something to get familiar with.
Good mental health is essential to everyone’s overall well-being and is as important as physical health. People with mental health issues are at increased risk for many types of physical health problems. Our mental health affects how we think, feel and act, and includes our emotional, psychological and social well-being.
Make Mental Health a Priority
Research suggests that mental health is influenced by multiple factors including family history, life experiences and biological factors. Prioritizing your mental health and knowing how to identify when you might need support can help put you on the path to an overall healthier and more vibrant future.
When Should You Reach Out for Support?
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) lists these common signs of mental health concerns:
- Feeling very sad or withdrawn for more than two weeks
- Trying to harm or end one’s life or making plans to do so
- Severe, out-of-control, risk-taking behavior that causes harm to self or others
- Sudden overwhelming fear for no reason, sometimes with a racing heart, physical discomfort or difficulty breathing
- Significant weight loss or gain
- Seeing, hearing or believing things that aren’t real
- Excessive use of alcohol or drugs
- Drastic changes in mood, behavior, personality or sleeping habits
- Extreme difficulty concentrating or staying still
- Intense worries or fears that get in the way of daily activities
Learn how to get support anytime, day or night through the Veteran Crisis Line online, by calling 988 and then pressing 1 or through text at 838255.
If you can relate to any of these concerns or if you know of a Veteran who might be experiencing them, there are trusted resources specifically for our Veteran community. You don’t have to go it alone. Let someone else help shoulder that load.
Your Mental Health Resources
Over 1.7 million Veterans received mental health services through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) last year. Treatment options range from peer support with other Veterans to counseling, therapy, medication or a combination of these. VA’s goal is to help Veterans take charge of their treatment and live a full and meaningful life.
As a Veteran, your life experiences have helped shape who you are today. Count on TriWest Healthcare Alliance (TriWest) to Be There™ when you need help. TriWest is a great resource, with clinically appropriate tools, guides and resources to help people recognize signs of the most common behavioral health issues, such as stress, depression, PTSD, substance use disorders and more.
NAMI has compiled a comprehensive section on their website focused on the mental health concerns that may be experienced by Veterans and active duty Service members along with guidance on how to get help.
If you are a Veteran in crisis or are concerned about one who might be, VA provides the Veterans Crisis Line offering confidential counseling 24/7 at no cost. Call 988 and press 1, or text 838255. This service is available to any Veteran, even if you are not enrolled in VA health care or registered with VA.
You Are Not Alone
If you or a loved one are struggling with a mental or behavioral health challenge, remember that you are not alone. Not only are these issues common, they are highly treatable. It’s important to remember that help is available, and many people want to support you.
Other Veterans and family members have shared their experiences with mental health treatment and recovery via VA’s Make the Connection website. Explore their stories of recovery, find local resources and take that first step toward an even healthier you.