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Connect with Veterans this Mental Health Awareness Month

This Mental Health Awareness Month, Harold Kudler, M.D., U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ chief consultant for mental health, discusses ways to support mental health recovery and improved quality of life for Veterans.

All too often, we hear or read about Veterans who are in distress or having difficulty adapting to life after military service. Although these stories are troubling, we also know that hundreds of thousands of Veterans are changing their personal headlines by taking steps to live healthy, productive lives with the help of resources that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Veterans Service Organizations, and community-based organizations provide.

It is our civic duty to be a support system for Veterans. We can serve those who have served us by sharing their stories of resilience and recovery and by dismantling perceptions of stigma that too often prevent Veterans from seeking support for mental health challenges. Our actions strengthen the already powerful movement of Veterans who are telling their stories of reaching out for help.

Consider Arthur, who served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. When he came home from his deployment, he had a hard time adjusting to civilian life but didn’t know how to talk about it. Unable to cope, Arthur fell into a cycle of anger, drugs, and gambling. Eventually, his girlfriend encouraged him to visit a VA doctor who diagnosed Arthur with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Arthur was able to get treatment for his condition and joined a support group for Vietnam Veterans. By connecting with other Veterans, Arthur found the support he needed to change his life for the better.

Trista served 16 years in the Marines, Navy, and National Guard, and experienced military sexual trauma during her service. This resulted in feelings of isolation while she was in the military and outbursts toward her husband after she left the service. With her husband’s encouragement, Trista began seeing a psychologist at VA. That counsel helped her make progress in her recovery. Now, Trista is sharing her story through Make the Connection, and by doing so, she is encouraging fellow Veterans to access similar resources for recovery.

Arthur, Trista, and hundreds of other Veterans and their family members have generously shared their experiences, but reaching other Veterans depends on people like you. Visit, where every day during Mental Health Awareness Month you can find new strategies and actions to help make Veterans’ concerns about mental health stigma a thing of the past. This Web portal provides easy-to-share messages and tools that will help improve the lives of Veterans and their families.

The full website,, features videos of hundreds of Veterans, like Arthur and Trista, talking about the steps they took to lead happier, healthier lives. This unique resource gives a voice to Veterans talking openly and honestly about their life journeys and encourages their peers to do the same. That’s why Make the Connection is so effective — it’s by Veterans for Veterans.

Share with the Veterans you know to further their journey toward treatment and recovery.

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From ACRLog: Assisting College Military Veterans in Academic Libraries

From ACRLog: Assisting College Military Veterans in Academic Libraries

ACRLog welcomes a guest post from Alejandro Marquez, Undergraduate Outreach and Instruction Librarian at North Dakota State University.

Student retention has been a big issue here on the North Dakota State University (NDSU) campus. My position was recently created within the library to work as a cooperative liaison with other on-campus support services and entities to address this issue, such as the tutoring center, disability services, and the counseling center, among others. This collaborative environment has sparked a positive conversation in our library that is focused on how to redefine the role of libraries on academic campuses and the integration of new and diverse support service roles.

One specific group that the library is actively seeking to form more diverse relationships with is military veterans. Library services for military veterans provide targeted opportunities for outreach and access to information. However, veterans as a user group are difficult to define as they may have served in Vietnam, during peace time, in the post 9/11 era, or in a number of other distinct situations. Each of these groups brings unique and diverse experiences in terms of age, education, life experience, health, and socioeconomic status. Unlike library services to people of color or older adults, there are no identifying social, ethnic, geographic, cultural, or chronological markers for veterans. Read the full story

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September is Suicide Prevention Month
















The Power of 1

One click, one call, one text — one life. 

One small act can make a difference in the life of a Veteran or Service member in crisis.

Every year, organizations across the country recognize September as Suicide Prevention Month. This year, the Veterans Crisis Line is asking you to think about the power of one and consider the many ways a single act can give Veterans access to confidential support and resources.

For Veterans going through a difficult time and their loved ones who are concerned about them, a single call, chat, or text can be a critical first step. One conversation with a Veteran about how he or she is doing can open the door to services and support.

Everyone can be the person who makes a difference in a Veteran’s life, and connecting with support doesn’t have to be hard. The Veterans Crisis Line can help.

Free, Confidential Resources

The Veterans Crisis Line is a free, confidential resource that Veterans and their families and friends can access any day, anytime. Trained professionals — some of them Veterans themselves — are ready to listen, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Since launching in 2007, the Veterans Crisis Line has answered more than 1.25 million calls and made more than 39,000 lifesaving rescues.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) counts on grass-roots networks and community organizations to spread the word that support is just a call, click, or text away — because one small act can make the difference.

Identifying Signs of Crisis

VA urges groups and individuals nationwide to stay alert for signs of suicide risk. The first step in preventing suicide is understanding the warning signs; people may show signs of risk before considering harming themselves. Warning signs include:

  • Hopelessness, feeling like there’s no way out
  • Anxiety, agitation, sleeplessness, or mood swings
  • Feeling like there’s no reason to live
  • Rage or anger
  • Engaging in risky activities without thinking
  • Increasing alcohol or drug abuse
  • Withdrawing from family and friends

The presence of the following signs requires immediate attention:


  • Thinking about hurting or killing yourself
  • Looking for ways to kill yourself
  • Talking about death, dying or suicide
  • Self-destructive behavior such as drug abuse, weapons, etc.

If you notice these warning signs, tell a Veteran about the Veterans Crisis Line, or make the call yourself. Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online at, or text to 838255 for free, confidential support, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.


Spread the Word

This Suicide Prevention Month, show how the power of one single act can save a life.


Visit to download free Suicide Prevention Month materials, including flyers to print and distribute, digital ads to display on your website, and content to post on social networks or publish in newsletters. Learn how you and your community can work together to prevent suicide.


No one can do everything, but everyone can do something. We are all part of the solution, and it starts with one small act.


Visit to learn more.

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