Mental Health Awareness Month - May

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May is Mental Health Awareness Month and we want to educate Veterans on the conditions that surround mental health and how to seek help if needed.

Mental health problems can cause changes in thinking, feelings, behavior, and physical activity, but it can be difficult to tell if you or your loved ones are affected by a mental illness. Without seeking help, mental health issues could potentially impact careers, families, social interactions, and overall wellbeing.

Signs and symptoms of mental health conditions may include:

• Feeling very sad or nervous
• Headaches or other physical pain
• Anger
• Lacking energy, motivation, or interests
• Problems functioning at home, work, or school
• Problems with attention, concentration, or memory
• Changes in sleep, appetite, weight, or intimate activities
• Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness, or hopelessness
• Unhealthy behaviors (misusing drugs, alcohol, food, or excessive spending to cope with stress)
• Muscle tension and weakness

Below are some of the common mental health conditions.  Click on the links below to learn more about each condition.

• Anxiety
• Bipolar Disorder
• Depression
• Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
• Schizophrenia

Along with the delivery of quality and effective treatment for mental health the VA also strives to provide the best mental healthcare possible by focusing on research and recovery.  VA offers a wide range of mental health services. In fact, VA is the largest single provider of mental health care in the country.  In a recent year, VA provided specialty mental health services to 1.3 million Veterans, many with mental health issues related to their combat deployments.

What can you do?  The most important thing to remember is to talk with your primary care or mental health care provider when anything is bothering you, or if you’re having any problems.  Your health care team is there to help you figure out what’s going on and what to do about it.

If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the symptoms associated with mental health disorders you owe it to yourself and loved ones to get help.  By knowing the risks and taking steps to get help we can bring our loved ones and ourselves closer to living mentally-healthy lives!

Resources – (click links below to open in new tab)

Make the Connection

Mental Health – MyhealtheVet

Mental Health Problems and Stigma – MyhealtheVet