Local VA offering help for veterans struggling with mental illness

Local VA offering help for veterans struggling with mental illness

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The National Alliance on Mental Health reports that more than 46-million adults in this country face the reality of managing a mental illness every day.

One group that struggles with mental illness, and post-traumatic stress disorder, is our veterans.

Sharetta Young, mental health outpatient team leader at the Sonny Montgomery VA Medical Center in Jackson, says veterans don’t have to struggle because they offer a range of mental health services.

“We have a full diagnostic evaluation that we complete on those veterans. Not only that - we assess for suicidality, and also do a assessments for PTSD evaluations," said Young.

Services includes Suicide Prevention, a Trauma Recovery Program, Alcohol and Drug Treatment, Psycho-social Rehabilitation and Recovery.

When veterans come to the VA they are immediately assigned help.

“They’re assigned a staff member to work with them ongoing and to provide them with case management services throughout their stay in mental health," explained Young.

Brandon Dobson and the VA staff that work on suicide prevention teach, train, and know the steps for preventing suicide in veterans struggling with their mental health.

“I want to hear what their story is. What are you going through? What are some ways I could help you out? What services can I kind of connect you with? So it’s really listening to the veteran and being an open ear," said Dobson.

The VA has future goals to improving access to veterans who are struggling from afar.

They want to invest some of their focus into tele-medicine, and connect with vets at home, especially if they can’t make the drive to the capital city.

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