Leading the national effort to change the barrier surrounding mental health, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. and Give an Hour (GAH) are pleased to host their second annual “A Day to Change Direction” on Oct. 28, 2017.
As our national day of service and action, October 28 will focus on educating the public on the Five Signs of Emotional Suffering and the Healthy Habits of Emotional Well-being.
Across the country, VFW Posts and Auxiliaries will host activities in their local communities that help change the dialogue on mental health not only for America’s veterans, but for our communities as well. Many Posts and Auxiliaries will also host a screening of Into the Light, a documentary about a Marine returning from Afghanistan with the invisible injuries of war who meets a therapist who is confronting her own family history of mental illness.
“A staggering 20 veterans commit suicide every day, yet only six of them were actually enrolled in VA care,” said VFW National Commander Keith Harman. “It is up to our nearly 1.7 million members of the VFW and Auxiliary to step up and start a dialog to help change the barrier and culture that oftentimes might deter someone from voluntarily seeking care. By working with our nation’s leading mental health organizations, the VFW is committed to reducing the veteran suicide rate to zero — one veteran at a time.”
In a recent video message, VFW National Commander Keith Harman encourages everyone to get involved with the second annual “A Day to Change Direction,” and participants in the day’s events are encouraged to use #VFWPostPride and #changementalhealth to highlight their events. Be sure to follow the VFW on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and stay up-to-date on all the day’s activities nationwide.
Together with industry leaders like Give an Hour, the Campaign to Change Direction, One Mind, PatientsLikeMe, Walgreens and the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, we will continue to raise awareness, foster community engagement, improve research and provide intervention to help combat this critical issue.