The deadly shooting rampage in Maine is highlighting the importance of mental health for those with a military background.
The suspect, Robert Card, 40, is a U.S. Army reservist with a history of mental health issues.
Card underwent a mental health evaluation in mid-July after he began acting erratically during training, a U.S. official told The Associated Press.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, less than half of veterans get the mental health care they need.
Katherine Sperry, with the Department of Veterans Affairs, said an event like this can be triggering for some veterans.
“We know our veterans may have anxiety, PTSD and depression, and we want them to know help is available,” Sperry said.
Dr. Christine Caulfield, with LSF Health Systems, said it’s important to understand veterans might be fearful of getting help from the VA. If that’s the case, there are other resources available.
“We have some that are very concerned about confidentiality. Perhaps they don’t want to use their insurance because they don’t want anyone to know they are seeking help. We have a lot of work to do with stigma and breaking down that stigma,” Caulfield said.
Advocates say family and other support systems play a key role in getting their loved one’s care.
“If you’re concerned about someone, please reach out and encourage them to get support, help them get to their appointments if necessary because treatment works, and recovery helps,” Caulfield said.
If you or a veteran you know needs help, you can scan the QR code below to access veteran mental Health services from the VA. You can also call the Veterans Crisis Line directly by dialing 988, then press 1.
LSF Health also has 24/7 access to a care line at (877) 229-9098. If you don’t want to use your military or veterans’ benefits, they can assist you with free mental health care.