UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – In response to the recent officer-involved shooting in which a local veteran lost his life, members of the community may be wondering about the services and assistance available to veterans. The mobile crisis assessment team works in partnership with the Neighborhood Center in Utica and one of its team members recently spoke with Eyewitness News about how this partnership can help our former service members.

The mobile crisis assessment team’s mental health staff can provide help in a crisis situation….and when a veteran is involved there are various forms of treatments MCAT can offer to help the individual…..we look for safety we make sure that the person is being safe to themselves and to other people we can help facilitate going to a hospital or emergency room if safety is really that big of a deal.

In addition to this, crisis counselor Michael Pracht explains that they can offer assessments where they meet with an individual through an in-person meeting or a phone call through their 24-hour phone service….to figure out what type of treatment is best and that could be referrals out to mental health clinics some suggestions for maybe some substance abuse treatment may be some inpatient treatment or things of that nature.

So how can friends and family recognize that a loved one may be struggling? Prackt tells me that mental health issues are different for eyeryone.

PTSD can manifest differently for everybody however there are a few hallmarks that are pretty similar and pretty common all throughout the course of the illness there’s three really big ones that you can look out for one is a disruption in a sleep pattern that’s a big one that you’ll see an early one that you’ll see the next thing is isolation the veteran doesn’t want to interact with family doesn’t want to interact with friends coworkers just wants to be left alone those are the two really big ones that you see and then often times because of that isolation and everything else going on financial issues can be a big part of it too.

and the last red flag is substance abuse issues. if someone is showing these behaviors…packet says you can turn to primary care providers….the VA clinic….the VFW….a veterans outreach center…or a clear path for veterans and the most important thing is to reach out.

I’m a veteran myself I did 22 years in the army I totally get it we are a stubborn bunch and we don’t want to admit if we have some sort of issues some sort of mental health crisis or really need help at all and sometimes it really takes that family member to be the one to have someone reach out to that veteran and get that help and that’s why services like this really are important.

If you or someone you know is struggling you can call 988 — The National Suicide Prevention line or 315-732-6228 to contact MCAT directly.