“You owe it to the guys who didn’t come back. … You owe it to them to live well.” – Mike, OEF/OIF/OND Veteran
Mike, a U.S. Marine Corps combat veteran, felt on edge all the time after he returned home from service. Driving under overpasses reminded him of his experiences in Iraq when explosives would be hurled at his vehicle, so he would serve and change lanes even though he knew he was safe at home.
Finally, with support from his family, Mike reached out for help from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). He encourages other veterans to do the same.
The Make the Connection campaign features stories of resilience and recovery like Mike’s — from veterans of every age, experience, and service era. Make the Connection connects veterans and their families with mental health information and services to discover ways to live more fulfilling lives.
Videos of veterans and their loved ones are at the heart of the campaign and challenging life events and experiences, signs and symptoms, and conditions, as well as resources that can help, are also featured on the website.
In addition to finding support at maketheconnection.net, you can also connect with care through mental health professionals or other staff members at your local VA Medical Center or Vet Center. Mike, as well as many other Marines, made the connection, and so can you. Make the Connection, an initiative created by VA, is also on Facebook and YouTube.
The YouTube video above showcases how responders at the Veterans Crisis Line provide life-saving support to hundreds of thousands of veterans nationwide from the call center at the VA Medical Center.
The Veterans Crisis Line is a free, confidential resource for veterans and servicemembers in crisis, as well as their family members and friends, and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Since its creation in 2007, the Veterans Crisis Line has responded to nearly 2 million calls, more than 250,000 chats and 44,000 texts, has made more than 320,000 referrals, and initiated the dispatch of emergency services to callers in crisis over 53,000 times.
One call, message, or text to the Veterans Crisis Line connects people experiencing a mental health crisis with trained, caring responders who are there to listen, provide support, and connect them with VA and community-based resources.
“We got into this field because we want to help people and we care,” says one responder featured in the video. “This is not just a job. It’s who we are.”
To someone going through a difficult time, one simple act has the power to make a difference. Reach out to the veterans and servicemembers in your life today and let them know they’re not alone. One conversation can open the door to support.