BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — May is Mental Health Month. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is encouraging veterans to take care of their mental health by highlighting available resources and sharing stories from other veterans.

As part of the VA’s Mental Health Month awareness and education efforts, VA mental health experts are focusing on their campaign called “Today I Am.” The campaign features veterans of various backgrounds who deliver the inspiring message that through mental health care, a better life is possible. By emphasizing the tools and resources that helped improve veterans’ lives, the campaign highlights both the value of and the accessibility of mental health care.

“The first thing to do is look for significant changes in mood or behavior,” said Christopher Loftis, national director of the VA/U.S. Department of Defense mental health collaboration. “So, if you notice someone is more withdrawn or quick to anger or more irritable, having nightmares, flashbacks trouble sleeping, trouble concentrating, certainly drinking more or doing more drugs, those are all signs to reach out and check in with your veteran.

“But we also really want to emphasize that with this campaign, we are hoping to inspire veterans to maybe that they are not living their best life that it’s also helpful to reach out and take advantage of some of the mental health tools and resources that are out there.”

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