V.A. works to head off military mental health crisis

Local News

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The GulfQuest Maritime Museum became the headquarters Wednesday for a summit on helping solve a mental health crisis among veterans.  The Veterans Administration estimates as many as 20 veterans a day take their own lives due to problems with depression, post-traumatic stress or substance abuse.

Community agencies were coordinating with the V.A. to get on the same page on services available.

One they heard about is called Dryhootch.org. The Milwaukee based ‘veterans helping veterans’ organization has helped some 10 thousand vets in its 10-year history.

Vietnam Veteran Bob Curry is one of the people behind the organization and spreading the idea about it to people in Mobile.

“So we have a community center run by veterans where veterans can come in, it’s a coffee shop, so it’s a very easy non-threatening environment,” says Curry.

A hootch is any place a combat veteran called home, a shack or bunker for example. ‘Dry-hootch’, means no alcohol or drugs. Curry says the morbidity rate for vets who find themselves victims of substance abuse is up to 80 percent.

He’s hoping to spread the idea behind Dryhootch.org to as many places around the country as possible. It’s another great idea in the effort to stem the rate of suicide among veterans and make sure as many as possible are getting the care they need.

Here are some links that could help.

Dryhootch.org

Maketheconnection.net

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