Many veterans in need of mental health help

By: Sara Zendehnam Email
By: Sara Zendehnam Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) After former Navy Reservist, Aaron Alexis, went on a shooting rampage at the Navy Yard in Washington D.C., killing 12 and injuring many others, his mental state of mind has come into question.

In order to prevent situations like that from happening locally, the VA Medical Center has programs to support veterans after they return from war.

Dr. Richard Wihera said 20 to 30-percent of people who return from Iraq and Afghanistan have some sort of mental disorder including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or depression.

Support groups are set up at the VA to help veterans make a smooth adjustment back to civilian life.

However, U.S. Navy veteran, Kevin Riddle, said it took him a long time to get help, but when he finally did it changed his life.

"I learned how to deal with that anger both through medicine and with counseling and they've been really supportive of me," Riddle.

The VA offers a crisis hotline that is open 24/7 and is anonymous. To get help through that resource call, 1-800-273-8255.

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