Ohio leaders urge veterans in crisis to get mental health help

Gov. Mike DeWine and other state leaders urge Ohio veterans struggling with mental health issues to reach out for help. DeWine held the press conference as the U.S. completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan, where American service members served for 20 years.

Ohio leaders have a message for veterans who are feeling frustrated, angry or betrayed as America pulls out of Afghanistan: It's okay to feel the way you do and it's okay to ask for help.

"Even the toughest warriors need to take a need to take a knee and get a drink of water. That applies mentally too. Sometimes the mental and emotional burden becomes too heavy and we have to take a knee," said Major General John Harris, Ohio Adjutant General. "And there is no shame in that, particularly in light of the current events that we see unfolding."

Harris, Gov. Mike DeWine, Ohio Veterans Services Director Deborah Ashenhurst, Ohio Department of Mental Health Director Lori Criss and others held a press conference Monday to highlight mental health services for Ohio veterans and their families.

There are several resources available:

  • The national suicide prevention hotline, 800-273-8255, option 1, offers assistance to veterans in crisis.
  • Ohio Care Line, 800-720-9616, offers help 24 hours a day.
  • lists resources for veterans.
  • The Crisis Text Line is also available 24 hours a day for free, confidential crisis support. Text 4HOPE to 741 741.

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