2017-2018 National Hospital Ambassador
Honor Hospitalized Heroes / Mental Health Awareness Month
May is a special time of year for our nation’s veterans and their families. It’s Military Appreciation Month and holidays include Armed Forces Day and Memorial Day. May also provides us with an excellent opportunity to change the conversation about mental health; it’s Mental Health Awareness Month.
As a proud family member of a combat veteran, you likely say “thank you” to veterans, service members and their families throughout the year. Make a conscious effort to do so this month and remember that Memorial Day can be hard for those who have served as they are reminded of their fallen comrades.
Ask the volunteer or activities coordinator if your Auxiliary could host a Memorial Day ceremony for those who are in medical facilities and are unable to attend or take part in public events and ceremonies. If you are unable to host a ceremony, there might be a patient who would like to reminisce about a lost comrade or the facility might need help with a Memorial Day service they have planned.
May is also Mental Health Awareness Month and an opportune time to educate those in your Auxiliary and community about the various online resources available to veterans, active-duty military, their families and caregivers, including:
- Veterans Crisis Line– The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text. Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Support for deaf and hard of hearing individuals is available.
- Make the Connection– Make the Connection is an online resource designed to connect Veterans, their family members and friends, and other supporters with information, resources, and solutions to issues affecting their lives.
- The Campaign to Change Direction– The goal of the Campaign to Change Direction is to change the culture of mental health in America so that all of those in need receive the care and support they deserve. The Campaign encourages all Americans to pay attention to their emotional well-being – and it reminds us that our emotional well-being is just as important as our physical well-being. You are encouraged to know the Five Signs that may mean someone in your life is experiencing emotional pain and what to do next.
Please know if you are a veteran, active-duty service member or a friend/family member of a veteran or active-duty service member, you are not alone in the challenges you face.
You have all done amazing volunteer work this year! From providing fun-filled events that lifted the spirits of hospitalized veterans to special projects, so many of them unique, that met veterans needs and made them feel your support and remembrance of their service. Thank you, brothers and sisters, for everything you have done this year for our hospitalized heroes!