WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The suspect in that shooting, Robert Card, a long-time Army Reservist, reported mental health issues including hearing voices, and threats to shoot up a National Guard base in Maine.

Mental health is important for everyone, but especially those who have witnessed traumatic events such as war. The Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center understands that and offers a variety of help for those who served our country.

“We’ve helped a lot of patients coming through the suicide prevention program as well as in the mental health clinic and the substance abuse services,” said Dr. Angelique Cortez who works in Suicide Prevention at the Wilkes-Barre WA Medical Center.

There is also a hotline for any veteran in a crisis, they can call 988 to speak with a crisis responder right away.

“If it’s an urgent situation the crisis responder will assist the patient immediately to meet that need, whether it’s a need to assist them with transpiration or if it’s a crisis situation, to have a welfare check will be sent out to make sure the patient is safe,” explained Dr. Cortez.

Outside of mental health assistance, they also offer social work services.

“Many, many programs underneath that service line and composed of workers that are working very diligently one-on-one with the patients to help them with their stressors, homelessness, or other types of risk factors that they may be experiencing,” continued Dr. Cortez.

“For veterans making the transition back into everyday life, there is also a service for them.

“Veterans who are transitioning from the military now to, into the community there is that transition piece where contact is made with the veteran to talk about services and support. supports that are available and the goal is to meet them where they’re at,” added Dr. Cortez.

For more information on all that the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center offers and how to get help visit their website.