Mental Health Awareness Month
Quality of care for Veteran’s includes raising awareness around important health topics. By highlighting some of the national health awareness campaigns each month, Veterans can get ideas, information, and resources on a variety of health matters.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and an ideal time to educate Veterans on the conditions that encompass mental health, how to seek help if needed, and live a mentally healthy life!
Mental health issues 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 health condition. Without seeking help, mental health issues could potentially impact careers, families, social interactions, and overall wellbeing.
Some of the symptoms and signs of mental health conditions can include:
• Feeling very sad or nervous
• Muscle tension and weakness
• Headaches or other physical pain
• Irritability, anger, or “short temper”
• Decreased 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)
Below are some of the common mental health conditions:
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• Bipolar Disorder
• Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD
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. To focus on these important aspects of care the VA has more than 11,000 mental healthcare professionals providing support to Veterans and their families, making it the country's largest provider of mental health services.
What can you do? The most important thing to remember is to talk with your primary care or mental health provider when anything is bothering you, or if you are 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 are 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!
For more information about Mental Health:
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VA Mental Health Website
My HealtheVet Mental Health website
After Deployment Mental Health Website