By: Cicely K. Burrows-McElwain, LSCW-C, Military and Veteran Affairs Liasion, SAMHSA’s Office of Policy, Planning and Development

In or out of uniform, many service members return home to communities where they continue to lead and contribute. For some military personnel, returning home can be challenging. And the impact of deployment and trauma-related stress not only affects military members and veterans but also their families and others who may provide support.

Many military personnel fear they will experience discrimination for seeking or receiving behavioral health treatment services. Our friends, family, and neighbors may be struggling and not recognize the signs, or they may not feel comfortable asking for help.

But the truth is, there is no health without mental health. One in five people in the U.S. has a mental health condition – this affects us all. So it’s important that we learn the five signs of emotional distress and how to help.

If someone who is struggling can see fellow service members and veterans talking about their needs and accessing help, it can open the door for others to do so as well. It’s important that they know they are not alone. Today, you can challenge someone to think differently about the experiences of service members, veterans, and their families. Let’s work towards supporting all their needs, including the ones we can’t see.

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