This Mental Health Awareness Month, we highlight opportunities to Start the Conversation among service members, veterans, and their families (SMVF).
A “power through it” mentality is strong in military culture – both for physical and emotional concerns. Stigma around needing help is a barrier for many when they are having a mental health concern. We know that individuals, including service members and veterans, cannot simply “power through” mental health challenges or mental illness. With the right care and support, one can address and manage these challenges.
When you step up and Start the Conversation in SMVF communities, you can help break some of this stigma.
Real conversations about emotional and mental wellness can be validating and supportive to those who are struggling. It’s important to share stories, connect with services, and improve access to care and support resources.
Resources for How to Start the Conversation:
- The Lines for Life Military Helpline is free, confidential, and available 24/7 for Oregon communities seeking support or needing help.
Call 1-888-457-4838 to speak with a call counselor anytime.
- Military OneSource is a directory resource with many articles, benefit suggestions, and tips for improving mental health in SMVF communities.
- The Military Health System has created materials for Mental Health Awareness Month that speak directly to the stigma around seeking mental health support. See the resources and messages here.