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Veterans urged to use online tool for mental health screening

Following Mental Health Awareness Month in May, the Michigan Veterans Affair Agency (MVAA) is encouraging veterans to use a free online mental health screening tool.

The agency is offering the tool in collaboration with Screening for Mental Health, a nonprofit organization that provides various mental health and substance abuse resources. Veterans can use the tool to screen for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, alcohol abuse and other mental health concerns. The program urges former service members to get a “checkup from your neck up.”

Veterans begin the screening by choosing a statement that most accurately describes their recent thinking and behavior. Next, they answer some questions about themselves and their feelings. The survey concludes with general explanations about moods and behaviors. Veterans are also given information about available mental health care support and where to find help nearby.

Many veterans who return home struggling with mental health issues such as PTSD or anxiety are often reluctant to seek treatment. According to MVAA Strategy Analyst Jeff Cassidy, perceived stigma is the biggest barrier for many veterans when it comes to getting help.

“Mental health is key to overall health, and MVAA wants to make sure all Michigan veterans have the tools they need to care for themselves both mentally and physically,” said MVAA Director James Robert Redford. “With this online tool, veterans can complete a quick and easy mental health screening and get the help and information they need when necessary.”

Veterans can access the website anonymously around the clock at http://screening.mentalhealthscreening.org/MVAA.

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