VA Black Hills Health Care System
Mental Health Month
By Teresa Forbes
Tuesday, May 12, 2020On May 1st, VA Black Hills staff joined community partners to kick off Mental Health Awareness Month. The kickoff brought dozens of caring individuals to the streets of Black Hills communities to post signs, share smiles and waves to spread messages of hope and encouragement. Drivers responded with honks, waves, and thumbs up in a show of solidarity and community strength.
These are extraordinary times full of uncertainty, anxiety and new stressors. There has never been a more important time to reach out and connect. “With the unique challenges presented to us with this pandemic, I thought it important that we put out not only a positive message to the world, but a reminder that people care and want to help”, said Mark Urban, Community Engagement and Program Coordinator. Urban and Chris Cooper from Mission 22 organized the awareness event. Because mental health care and outreach are being offered in more nontraditional ways, it is important to let Veterans know there is support and assistance available.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs observes Mental Health Month in May to help Veterans recognize their challenges and tap into their own resiliency. The theme for Mental Health Awareness Month is “Now is the Time” and it emphasizes the urgency of getting Veterans the support they need when they need it.
While physical distancing is required to slow the spread of COVID-19, Veterans may be relying on family and friends for support. VA Black Hills mental health professionals are also available to help Veterans start or remain on their recovery journey. There is no better time to focus on mental health.
Now is the time. At VA Black Hills, Veterans can access mental health care through virtual means. VA Video Connect is a safe and secure way to provide individual or group appointments. Make the Connection is an online tool and resource for Veterans and their families to get started on the mental health journey.
Now is the time and VA is here for you.