Mar 04 2015
MOAA was honored to participate a summit held here today in Washington, DC, launching ‘The Campaign to Change Direction’, a national initiative aimed at increasing public awareness around topics of mental health, mental illness and wellness. As part of collective effort led by Give an Hour, 50 other campaign partners like MOAA, have pledged their support over the next five years in helping create a new story and way for society to respond to mental health.
Inspired at a White House National Conference on Mental Health in 2013, ‘Change Direction’, this transformative movement is to help address a growing trend today—that is, one in five Americans are living with a diagnosable mental health condition, and it is expected that more Americans will die by suicide than in car accidents this year. Often friends, neighbors, co-workers, and even family members are suffering emotionally and don’t recognize the symptoms or won’t ask for help. The five signs of suffering icons provide an easy tool for recognizing emotional pain in yourself, in a loved one or in others.
Featured keynote at the summit was First Lady Michelle Obama. She talked about the many military, veterans and their families who return home okay, and those who have returned home with a diagnosed with a mental health condition, she praised them for showing tremendous courage and strength in seeking help and sharing their experiences.
MOAA has pledged to raise awareness of the initiative through our annual Warrior-Family Symposium, leveraging our Military Coalition relations, and through our print and online publications. “The mental well-being of our troops, veterans, and their families has long been a concern and mission for MOAA, and we look forward to helping raise awareness of mental health at such a critical time—a natural extension of our service to nation and our service to the brave, men and women and their families in and out of uniform,” said VADM Norb Ryan, MOAA president. This campaign is an extension of MOAA’s continued service to America and to our brave military, veterans and their families.
Learn more about the National Campaign to Change Direction at www.Changedirection.org.