Mental health options avaliable at local VA clinic

, Posted: Thu, April 3 2014 at 6:06 PM, Updated: Mon, April 7 2014 at 3:40 PM

White City, Ore. -- Following Wednesday's shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, reports say that the suspected gunman was recently being evaluated for post-traumatic stress disorder, otherwise known as PTSD.

Experts at the Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center & Clinics serve roughly 17,000 veterans with a wide variety of health issues including mental illness.

Military veteran Chris Brass says the VA facility in White City saved his life after he realized he began suicidal thoughts.

"I got locked up in the acute ward for suicide ideations, and the determined they determined they didn't have the best resoucres for me, and that's how I ended up in White City," Brass said.

Ben Bryan is the suicide prevention coordinator for the Veterans Affairs clinic in White City, and says with counciling, people can overcome thier illnesses.

They offer a wide variety of services including counseling to veteran's who suffer from suicidal thoughts, post traumatic stress disorder, and other mental illnesses.

But trying to overcome any illness can be an uphill battle.

"Just the idea of getting started is the most important thing, many veteran's feel there is a stigma about getting help but it's important," Bryan said. 

"That was very difficult for me to accept. I was getting help through the V.A. that was not military related, but they were there to help, says Brass.

But not everyone seeks help, and that's why Bryan says family and friends need to recognize the signs of any mental illness which include, someone who seems to be hyper aroused and looking for threats, or someone who can't relax.

No longer feeling that way, Bass is thankful he had help.

Veterans who are struggling can call the Veterans Crisis Line for help at 1-800-273-8255 and press 1.

The line is also open to family members and civilian's can call the same number.

For more information on the services the VA clinic officers, click here.

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