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During National Mental Health Awareness Month, Phoenix VA asking vets to get help

(Ed Rieker/AP Images for Aspen Dental)

PHOENIX — The Phoenix VA has a message for veterans during National Mental Health Awareness Month, better known as May: We’re here to help.

Dr. Maureen McCarthy, a psychiatrist at the VA, said she understands why some veterans would be reluctant to seek help.

“They walk around with a cast, people give them a lot of sympathy,” she said. “But if somebody has a mental health condition, they don’t react in the same way. There’s often fear.”

McCarthy said mental illness is treatable in many instances.

“There are conditions that really respond well to medicines and to the many therapies we have available,” she said.

Veterans can use BeConnectedAZ, a website that offers a slew of services for veterans, to find mental health treatment.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, more than 18 percent of U.S. adults have experienced an anxiety disorder such as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) or obsessive-compulsive disorder. At least one in 25 U.S. adults experiences a serious mental illness in a given year.

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