What mental health resources are there for veterans and law enforcement officers?

Published: Jan. 6, 2023 at 9:36 PM CST
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MINOT, N.D. (KMOT) - Friday, law enforcement and community members honored the life of Master Officer Patrick Blanchard in Minot.

Blanchard, a U.S. Army veteran, died at age 37 last Thursday from an apparent self-inflicted wound while off duty.

While we may never know what troubles Officer Patrick Blanchard was facing, his death is a reminder of the ongoing challenges for those who serve our country and those who serve their local communities — or, in his case, both.

Advocates for mental healthcare for veterans said the stigma of needing help can discourage many veterans from seeking the help they need.

They may feel ashamed, or afraid that it may impact their role in the military or their careers.

Randy McDonald founded a chapter of the group Together with Veterans in Minot.

The group aims to prevent veteran suicides in rural areas.

McDonald said the best way the public and lawmakers can help is to make mental health something we are all comfortable talking about.

“It’s okay to talk about this. it’s okay to realize that you’re struggling and that you can’t control it yourself. Sometimes we need help, and that’s what we exist for, that’s what Together With Veterans exists for,” said McDonald.

Together with Veterans is funded through the VA.

If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, here are some local/national resources:

The Vet Center - 3300 South Broadway, Minot, ND 58701 - phone - 701-852-0177

A list of Veteran Friendly counselors and therapists - https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/nd/minot?category=veterans

CoPilot - Text “copilot” to 78573 for veterans, service members, first responders, and their families can receive free, anonymous, text messaging based mental health support.

Veterans Crisis Line

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

Dial 988 and press 1