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VA focuses on mental health

VA

The Department of Veterans Affairs is putting extra focus on mental illness this month with their "Use Your Voice" campaign.

They say the best thing to do if you think someone is suffering is to talk to them.

"Ask them about how they're feeling and your viewers can also go to our website - maketheconnection.net - to get some information about signs and symptoms of mental health conditions and treatments that might be available; and there are also hundreds of videos of veterans telling their own personal stories of challenges they've face and things they've done to live happier and healthier lives,” said Dr. Wendy Tenhula, VA specialty mental health deputy chair. “That can help someone better understand what might be going on and how they might be able to start that conversation."

Tenhula said reaching out is a form of strength and there is treatment available.

"One difficulty with reaching out for help is simply understanding what's going on. Physical injuries and illnesses are easy to identify, easy to understand what a doctor can help you with or not be able to help you with and with mental health problems it's a little bit harder if you're having trouble sleeping or if you're feeling irritable you may not realize that that could be a sign or a symptom of a mental health condition," said Tenhula.

She said the campaign, during Mental Health Awareness Month, is about getting veterans help and changing the way people think about mental illness.

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