(Washington D.C., Wednesday, May 22, 2019) – For 70 years, Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in May, and is an opportunity for U.S. armed forces to bring about greater awareness of psychological health concerns and to promote increased access to care and treatment. For service members and veterans, early intervention for mental health plays a critical role in successful care, recovery and reintegration.

Lieutenant Evette Pinder is the action officer for the Real Warriors Campaign, the DoD initiative to reduce stigma and encourage service members, veterans and family members to seek care early and often for psychological health concerns. During her time with the campaign, she has seen firsthand the importance of the availability of support resources, and the positive impact of service members and veterans sharing their health care success stories with others.

SOUNDBITE #1:

MAY IS MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH, AND THIS YEAR MARKS THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEFENSE DEPARTMENT’S REAL WARRIORS CAMPAIGN. SINCE TWO THOUSAND AND NINE, THE CAMPAIGN HAS PROVIDED PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTH RESOURCES FOR AMERICA’S SERVICE MEMBERS, VETERANS AND FAMILIES. AMONG THESE RESOURCES ARE REAL STORIES FROM REAL WARRIORS SHARING THEIR EXPERIENCES OF PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH RECOVERY AND SUCCESS AFTER REACHING OUT FOR HELP FROM FRIENDS, FAMILY AND HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS.

SOUNDBITE #2:

LEARN MORE ABOUT IMPORTANT PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTH TOPICS.  THESE TOPICS CAN INCLUDE DEPLOYMENTS, P-C-SING, TRANSITIONING TO CIVILIAN STATUS AND THE VARIOUS STRESSORS THAT CAN ARISE IN MILITARY AND VETERAN LIFE.

To join the conversation, use the live chat feature on the campaign website, realwarriors.net, or connect on social media @realwarriors. Together, we can reduce stigma and show that reaching out for help is a sign of strength.

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