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Training program aims to help first responders recognize a veteran in crisis

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Posted at 4:24 PM, Sep 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-04 18:16:14-04

CLEVELAND — It's not always obvious when a person is in crisis. That's especially true of veterans, who may feel pressured to act tough rather than admit they need help.

That's why the VA Northeast Ohio Health Care System is teaming up with The Northeast Ohio Veteran Community Task Force, the Cuyahoga Community College Veterans Initiative and The Cleveland Police Foundation to provide training on how to spot a veteran in crisis and get them the help they need.

The training is for clergy, social workers, public safety officials and counselors who would most benefit from developing the skills to recognize and assist veterans in the midst of a mental health crisis.

June Knowlton is a Volunteer Service Specialist with the VA Northeast Ohio Health Care System. She explained to News 5 why it's so important for these groups to know what to look out for when they interact with veterans.

"I know military, we have our own language sometimes, sometimes it's hard to break through that front and we're learning how to communicate not only with each other but also with society," she said, "When you can talk to somebody who might not have been a veteran, but understands some of the things that you've gone through, that's amazing."

The next training session is for public health officials. It's happening Friday, September 6 at the Cuyahoga Community College Western Campus from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

The training is free and lunch will be provided.

If you're interested in attending you can register here.