Conference Helps Mental Health Officials Better Understand Military Life
Service members in the military can sometimes have a hard time integrating into civilian life after they retire, and on top of that, many veterans suffer from a mental illness. A two-day conference kicked off today at Camp Ripley teaching mental health officials on how to better help veterans that may be suffering.
The Military Mental Health Coalition brought in numerous speakers and veterans organizations to Camp Ripley to discuss the best ways of helping military members with their mental health. Speakers discussed a variety of topics including their own experiences in the military, and how they dealt with their mental health during and after they served.
“The conference is really [directed] towards mental health providers, folks that are able to give resource[s] to service members and their families, especially out in some of the more rural communities,” Tony Housey, Military Mental Health Coalition’s spokesperson, said. “I hope they take the information that we give them, and they go back to their community and they try some of those practices within their own area.”
Roughly 22 veterans commit suicide every day and many never seek help because of the stigma surrounding mental health. Sometimes when military members do seek help, they feel as if their mental health provider can’t relate to them. Today’s keynote speaker was trying to make that connection for mental health providers.
“Many of those attending the summit have no military experience,” Stacy Pearsall, an Air Force Veteran and the event’s keynote speaker, said. “So, I hope they walk away with a better understanding of a service member’s transition from the military to being a civilian, and what that lifelong impact has, and how it shapes us and our mental state.”
Tomorrow is the final day of the Military Mental Health Conference, and if you are a veteran who feels like they need to talk to someone, call the Veteran Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255.