March 2, 2015
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Communities are essential to our well-being. They are our refuge, a place to draw inspiration and energy. A community is a home, and they are only strong when we work together.

But communities can do more than reinforce the good. They can also bring us close enough to realize when things are not so good, especially when it comes to those in the veterans community dealing with mental health challenges.

Whether it’s someone in your Fellowship class or a member of your service platoon, there are folks in our community who are struggling with a post-traumatic stress or other conditions. The hard part, as a friend, is to know they might be in need of help in the first place.

interstitial-site-700x817That’s the idea behind a new initiative from our friends at Give an Hour called the Campaign to Change Direction, a coalition of government, business, and nonprofit leaders who have come together to address the urgent need for open discussions about mental health, mental illness and well-being.

The campaign aims to accomplish two great things. The first is to help transform the national dialogue about mental health challenges in order to remove the stigma of seeking help. The second goal is to make everyone a mental health safety observer by teaching the five signs of mental health suffering.

Give an Hour kicks the campaign off this Wednesday at the Newseum in Washington, DC. First Lady Michelle Obama is headlining the event, along with Oscar-winning producer Bruce Cohen and musical guest G.R.L, along with many other speakers.
Check out the event live on webcast here on March 4, from 9am-1pm EST.

Give an Hour has led the charge to build a community-based network of mental health professionals dedicated to solving mental health challenges in the military and veterans community. Check out their page to learn more.

And if you’re a veteran or family member in need of immediate help, call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1800-273-8255 and press 1 for veterans. You can also text at 838255, or chat online here.

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