National Mental Health Month - May 2009

Monday May 4, 2009

What is it?

This May, in recognition of National Mental Health Month, the Army will engage in a service-wide effort to educate our Soldiers, civilians and families about the full spectrum of mental, behavioral and psychological health programs and services available to them. Maintaining proper mental, psychological and behavioral health requires support from concerned Army leaders, a corps of extraordinary Army healthcare professionals, dedicated Army chaplains and just as importantly- friends, families and communities. The Army is aware of the many unique stressors that confront our Army family today and is committed to rapidly expanding resources and programs that aid in reducing the effect of these stressors. Our Soldiers and families possess remarkable strengths and with caring supportive leadership and assistance, the Army can help them develop stronger emotional bonds, improve relationships and expand individual resiliency.

What has the Army done?

From increasing the number of behavioral healthcare providers, to conducting a service-wide suicide prevention stand down and chain teach, to implementing an Army Campaign Plan for Health Promotion, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention, to establishing resiliency programs to help our Soldiers and families, to partnering with civilian organizations like the National Institute for Mental Health- the Army is at the leading edge of mental and behavioral health promotion. Army leaders are working aggressively to ensure Soldiers and families understand there is no braver act than to seek mental and behavioral assistance whenever and wherever they may need it. From the newest private to the most senior generals- everyone may need help at some time in their Army career.

Why is this important to the Army?

The continued success of today's Army relies on recruiting and retaining qualified, dedicated and resilient Soldiers and civilians supported by healthy families and communities. National Mental Health Month affords our Army a tremendous opportunity to raise awareness of the many programs and resources designed to support Soldiers, our Army civilians and our families.

What will the Army do?

In today's Army, every month is mental health month. By taking a holistic look at all aspects of our Army- from our doctrine and policies- to our level of resources- to how we train leaders to recognize the signs of mental and behavioral health problems, the Army will improve Soldier and family resiliency, reduce the rate of suicide within our ranks- and improve the quality of life across the Army community.


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2009: Year of the NCO

2009: Year of the Military Family

2009: 100th Anniversary of the Chaplain Assistant

May 2009:

- National Mental Health Month

- National Military Appreciation Month

- Asia Pacific American Heritage Month

May 1- 2 : NCR Joint Service Motorcycle Safety Event

May 8 : Military Spouse Day

May 8-10 : Best Ranger Competition


"You all have your own stories of how you came to this country. And you all have your own personal reasons for why you joined the military. But in the service that you render, in the sacrifices that each of you have made and will continue to make, in the commitment you've shown to your adopted nation, you're part of a larger story - America's story."

- President Obama, at the naturalization ceremony for active-duty servicemembers held in the East Room of the White House, May 1

My fellow Americans


Year of the Noncommissioned Officer

"An NCO's job is rewarding; it's almost like being a teacher. You see (Soldiers in training) graduate and know how much you impacted them. They come in as civilians and walk across the stage as Soldiers. That is really rewarding."

- Staff Sgt. Mark Gomez, drill sergeant Fort Knox, Ky.

Fort Knox drill sergeant represents NCOs of the present


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