We sympathize with the families and friends affected by Wednesday’s shooting at Fort Hood military base in Texas. In the words of Albert Einstein, “Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation. For they are us. Our bodies are only wilted leaves on the tree of life“. While we can’t change this tragic event, we can look forward to a safe and quick recovery for those 16 persons that have been injured and send condolences to the families for their loss.
If you or anyone you know needs help in dealing with the many emotions arising from this tragedy, please call the Disaster Distress Helpline here in Arizona at 1-800-203-2273. Callers will be connected to trained and caring professionals from the closest crisis counseling center.
Service members and veterans (and their family members) seeking help for depression, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder or other behavioral health concern have a variety of options for accessing care in Arizona.
If in a crisis, please call your nearest crisis line right away: 800.273.8255 and select option 1
The National Veterans Crisis Line is available 24/7 to any service member, veteran, family member or concerned person. You can also call any of these crisis lines statewide for assistance:
- 1-800-631-1314 (Maricopa County)
- 1-800-796-6762 (Pima County)
- 1-866-495-6735 (Graham, Greenlee, Cochise and Santa Cruz Counties)
- 1-800-259-3449 (Gila River and Ak-Chin Indian Communities)
- 1-866-495-6735 (Yuma, LaPaz, Pinal and Gila Counties)
- 1-877-756-4090 (Mohave, Coconino, Apache, Navajo and Yavapai Counties)
If not in a crisis, you could call for a referral for services in Arizona, or anywhere in the nation! Call 1-800-662-HELP which offers 24-hour free and confidential information (in English and Spanish) on substance use disorder issues and referral to treatment. You can also call your nearest VA facility, regional behavioral health authority or a tribal behavioral health authority. The Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services also has benefits counselors, the Military Family Relief Fund and other resources available to veterans and their families.
Arizona has a Military/Veteran Resource Network for service members, veterans and their families to access local resources in a variety of topics including mental health, physical health, spirituality, employment and others.
Please know that you are not alone. Everyone has mental health and is susceptible to encounter challenges from time to time. Mental health challenges are preventable, treatable, and just like diabetes or heart disease, when they are noticed and treated early chances of recovery are increased.
For persons interested in helping veterans and their families get the help they need: ADHS is a partner with the Arizona Coalition for Military Families in rolling out a new Military/Veteran Resource Navigation training for persons employed in healthcare settings in positions that include intake, reception, customer service, case management and peer support specialists among others (the training is open to anyone who would potentially interact with veterans seeking services)! Interested? Learn more and register online. You can also attend a Mental Health First Aid training near you where you’ll learn to identify the signs and symptoms of mental illness and key strategies to provide aid (both in crisis and non-crisis situations).
Arizona is home to more than 625,000 service members, veterans and their families. The strength and resilience of these individuals and families contributes a great deal to our community and they have given much to protect and defend our country. In return, we can ensure that they are connected to the right resource at the right time when they are in need of support.