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The Moment When Recovery Begins

3-minute read

The Moment When Recovery Begins

3-minute read

Read Stories > The Moment When Recovery Begins

Life is made up of countless moments. In a Veteran’s mental health journey, the most significant moment may be as simple as a single, first step of reaching out for support or as momentous as celebrating a decade of sobriety. This Mental Health Month, Make the Connection is highlighting The Moment When …

You reach out for support …

Things finally turn around …

Treatment starts to work …

A loved one was there …

A friend took a stand out of love …

In May — and all year round — we recognize these moments, invite Veterans and their family members to reflect on important turning points, and encourage others to take positive action. Visit to watch Veterans share their stories about the many different moments of the mental health journey, from the little victories to the major turning points.

One Moment Can Make a Difference

For Ray, opening up to fellow Veterans in rehab was the moment when life turned around. He’s now a peer support specialist, giving back to the Veteran community that helped him overcome his drinking problem. “It’s helped me become a better person,” he says. “Now, I get to help others.”

The moment when Joseph, a U.S. Navy Veteran, reconnected with a former teacher spurred him to find the support he needed. When he started seeing a counselor, he felt his life begin to turn around. “All of a sudden, I wasn’t alone anymore,” he says.

Lisa, a U.S. Army Veteran, witnessed a fellow soldier’s death. Her experiences from deployment followed her home, creating waves of anxiety, feelings of guilt, and anger. The moment when Lisa’s counselor welcomed her in — saying, “We’ll get through this” — Lisa realized that things can get better. “There definitely is light at the end of the tunnel,” she says.

There definitely is light at the end of the tunnel. Lisa

For La Wanda, her moment came when a friend bluntly said what she needed to hear: “You know there’s help out there available — and you need to get it.” La Wanda had been using drugs and alcohol when that conversation inspired her to start a 12-step program and get her life together. She’s now going on seven years of sobriety and hasn’t looked back. “I did it,” she says. “And you can do it too.”

Richard, a Vietnam Veteran, felt out of place after the war. As a civilian, he tried to cope with feelings of anger and depression, and a run-in with the law was a wake-up call that he needed to make a change. Mental health treatment helped Richard get his life back on track. He remembers the moment when he felt that treatment was making a difference. “I felt rejuvenated,” he recalls. “This is helping. This is working.”  

These stories describe just a few moments in Veterans’ lives that led to a crucial discovery: Treatment works, and recovery is possible. This May, you can take a step toward recovery. Make Mental Health Month the moment when you make a change for the better. Get inspired at

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