Tuesday, September 27, 2022


Massachusetts steps up for Puerto Rico, the White House convenes its first hunger conference in more than 50 years, and hydroponics could be the future of tomatoes in California.


Arizona's Sen. Kyrsten Simema defends the filibuster, the CBO says student loan forgiveness could cost $400 billion, and whistleblower Edward Snowden is granted Russian citizenship.


The Old Farmer's Almanac predicts two winters across the U.S., the Inflation Reduction Act could level the playing field for rural electric co-ops, and pharmacies are dwindling in rural America.

Mental-Health Support Available for Virginia's Veterans, Active-Duty Military


Tuesday, May 31, 2022   

Virginia is home to more than 780,000 military veterans, and one organization is offering mental and emotional support.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness' (NAMI) Homefront program is a free, six-class course for veterans, active-duty military members and their families.

Mary Beth Walsh, director of programs for NAMI-Virginia, said military families often have their own unique mental and emotional needs, which the program aims to address.

"It's an educational course that helps lead family members through ways that they can not only help their loved ones, but also ways that they can focus on themselves and gain support for their own needs," Walsh explained.

In addition to NAMI's program, the Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA) also offers care via its mental-health specialty clinics, primary-care clinics, nursing homes and residential-care facilities. Walsh pointed out NAMI also partners with VA facilities to offer peer-to-peer support programs, which emphasize connecting veterans with folks who have shared experiences.

Walsh noted the peer-to-peer support model is used across NAMI's other mental-health programs, but is particularly important for veterans. As she explained, military veterans have a unique culture, language and experiences.

"Being able to talk to somebody who has been there and can really say, 'I've been through what you're going through,' it's such a huge aspect of what can really help somebody feel not so isolated and alone," Walsh emphasized.

Dr. Rhonda Randall, executive vice president and chief medical officer for UnitedHealthcare employer and individual, said there are a few signs people should keep an eye out for if they think someone is struggling with their mental health.

"Things that you really worry about are like loss of interest in things, a loss of feeling happiness or pleasure, really feeling helpless or hopeless," Randall advised. "Generally, we get concerned when those kinds of feelings persist for more than two weeks."

According to the federal government, more than 1.7 million veterans received mental-health counseling through a VA program in the 2018 fiscal year. The department also has a veterans' crisis phone line for emergency situations.

Disclosure: United Healthcare contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
Groups that track disinformation say purveyors sometimes back up their claims by referencing fake "think tanks," or by linking to other pages on their own website. (Feng Yu)

Social Issues

A Nevada democracy watchdog group said social media, blogs, websites and hyperpartisan news organizations are all working overtime to spread …

Social Issues

Education officials in Ohio want state leaders to invest in free school meals for all students. Pandemic-era federal waivers enabling schools to …


Agriculture researchers say if the U.S. wants more farmers to adopt climate-friendly practices, they will need to be offered some proven incentives…

Researchers say if states required more lighting and reflection on farm vehicles, traffic crashes involving this heavy equipment could decrease by more than half. (Adobe Stock)


As the fall harvest season takes shape in South Dakota, an agricultural specialist said there are many ways motorists and farmers can avoid crashes …

Social Issues

Massachusetts residents are being asked to step up, just as they did five years ago, to help their fellow Americans in Puerto Rico. The …

Nearly 640,000 people were considered food insecure in Washington state in 2020, according to the nonprofit Feeding America. (timonko/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

It's been more than 50 years since the White House held a gathering about the effects of hunger across the nation. In 1969, the White House held its …

Social Issues

By Caleigh Wells for KCRW.Broadcast version by Suzanne Potter for California News Service reporting for the KCRW-Public News Service Collaboration Wh…

Social Issues

As the midterm elections approach, there are concerns about whether Latino voters will turn out as much as they have in past elections. In New York…


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021