VIRGINIA BEACH, Va (WAVY) — This month, 10 On Your Side is joining the Movember movement to shine a light on men’s health issues. One issue many men struggle with in silence is mental health.

The stigma for men, especially men who are military veterans or active duty servicemembers, remains a big barrier to seeking treatment.

As we honor our veterans this week, we went to the Steven A Cohen Military Family Clinic at the Up Center in Virginia Beach where counselors are working to break barriers and provide a safe space for men to get help.

“Oftentimes seeking support in the military setting if you are active duty, even if you are a veteran, it can be very daunting,” Lead Clinician Jennifer Black said. “So, part of our goal here at the clinic is to remove any barriers to care.

Black urges men to make a self-assessment and ask themselves the following questions:

  • Are you sleeping too little or too much?
  • Are you eating too much or too little?
  • Does stress at work spill into your social or home life
  • Do irritability, sadness or mood changes impact your relationships?

In this Cohen Veteran’s Network video campaign, an Army Veteran named Rama openly shares a struggle so many veterans hide.

“It just felt like nothing was going right no matter how well-intentioned or how well I prepared it just seemed I was getting the short end of the stick while everyone else was you know breezing through,” he said.

Rama decided he could not fight alone and sought help through the Cohen Veterans Network.

“There is a lot of risk in trying to manage things on your own and not reaching out for help.
Mental health can very quickly turn into physical health issues,” Black told 10 On Your Side.

Counselors at the Cohen clinic can share tools to help men manage emotions and problem-solve in healthy ways and it is all done confidentially so your private life remains private.

The clinic currently schedules in-person and virtual appointments for military members and their families.

In the video, Rama said, “Without this clinic, I can’t say where I’d be right now.”

You can find out more about the Virginia Beach clinic location here.