Shepherd’s Men raises awareness for mental health resources for veterans
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - A local organization is raising awareness about the need for mental health resources for veterans and helping connect vets with the help they deserve.
“I think it’s important to start having discussions about mental health,” said veteran Walt Marques.
Marques says he served 20 years in the Marine Corps and was deployed overseas in Iraq, Korea, and Afghanistan.
But in the last few years, he’s had a new mission here in Georgia.
“Twenty-two veterans take their lives every day and we’re trying to make that zero and this is just a group of men and women here that are just trying to make a difference,” said Marques.
Marques and others with Shepherd’s Men say they raise money year-round to support the SHARE Military Initiative, a comprehensive rehabilitation program for veterans that helps them address their physical and mental health needs.
Shepherd’s Men says the program has helped more than 750 service members.
“This means a lot to me because I had a lot of friends, veterans that have taken their own life and I’ve lost more friends and veterans to suicide than I did in combat and I think we need to do more,” said Marques.
Marques says he and others are spending this Memorial Day remembering the fallen while reminding fellow veterans there’s help out there.
“It’s to honor the fallen and to let those veterans know that there is an outlet for people that are dealing with mental health issues because the war is not over and we’re here to help them fight that war here at home,” said Marques.
Last month, Governor Brian Kemp signed a bill into law that establishes a mental health support program grant for veterans and their families.
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