Last week the Wounded Warrior Project released its annual report on veterans mental health and suicide. Nearly 80 percent of those surveyed said they suffer from post traumatic stress disorder.
Those numbers don’t surprise staff at the Van Zandt V.A. Medical Center in Altoona. They’ve expanded mental health services into a new building and they’re recruiting staff to expand further.
“We’re pushing out into the community and we’re partnering with local suicide prevention task forces, as well as crisis units in our counties, to identify the veterans that have never been identified by the V.A. up to now,” says Suicide Prevention Coordinator Eileen Woods.
She says of the 20 veterans who die of suicide every day, only six have been treated by the V.A. A major effort is now underway to identify the other 14.
Woods says, “If we find a veteran who has depression let’s work with that veteran so that it doesn’t go any further than that having some depression because we can fix that, we can help that veteran get better.”
Angela Hahn-Mowry, Acting Chief Behavioral Health says that help is available immediately when you walk in the door or when you call. After you’re enrolled you have more options including telehealth. You can schedule an appointment and through an email you click on , have a secure face to face session with your counselor.
The main point is for vets-help is available 24-7 don’t hesitate to reach out-someone will be there for you.