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Classes are offered for family and loved ones of veterans to learn about military mental health

Posted at 2:58 PM, Oct 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-27 19:53:28-04

COMMERCE CITY, Colo -- A Military and Veterans Module of the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) class was offered at no charge at the Bison Ridge Recreation Center in Commerce City this week.

The specialized version of the eight-hour MHFA course is designed to focus on cultural factors related to military life. The training teaches people how to identify risk factors faced by many service members and their families, such as trauma — both mental and physical — stress and depression.

"We are thrilled to bring this specifically designed module to this underserved segment of the population - those who are in military service or are veterans," Community Reach Center Manager of Marketing and Communications Lindy Lewis, said. "It is a big plus that each session is co-taught by a veteran and someone from the mental health arena." 

Lewis, a longtime MHFA instructor points out that those with military service and their families can experience a variety of mental health challenges, not just PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Statistically, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates PTSD afflicts almost 31 percent of Vietnam veterans, as many as 10 percent of Gulf War (Desert Storm) veterans and 11 percent of veterans of the war in Afghanistan. Overall the majority of military service members do not develop mental health issues.

The event was sponsored by the Commerce City Rotary Club in partnership with Community Reach Center. The Rotary has been honored for its work in raising awareness about mental wellness and community resources the past few years and secured grant funding specifically for this event. 

To learn more about the MHFA classes, click here.