Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said over the weekend that DOD will continue to address mental health issues among service members and destigmatize treatment, repeating a line he often uses that “mental health is health, period,” according to a DOD news story.
“This is a national commitment, and it’s on all of us,” he said. “That means working alongside our friends at the [Department of Veterans Affairs]. That means working with lawmakers here in Washington and in state and local governments. And that means being good partners with community organizations big and small.”
Austin spoke Saturday at the National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp’s banquet in Arlington, Virginia. The event was sponsored by the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.
Austin also vowed to do more to help military families who have lost a loved one in service.
“We’ve got to do more to help our newly bereaved families on every level, [from] finding comfort to figuring out benefits,” Austin said. “We know how heavy that load can be. We also have to find more ways to stand together and do whatever we can to make the load even a bit lighter.”
DOD photo by Navy Chief Petty Officer Carlos M. Vazquez II