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To significantly increase awareness and reduce stigmas of mental health challenges by providing

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training.

We offer MHFA training to everyone: all backgrounds, and abilities.We also specialize in training Veterans, Gold Star families, Active Duty & their dependents at low cost or FREE. 

Approx Number of Veterans who die by suicide every day 
of those 22 Veterans never receive help
it is our mission to reach those 
14 and offer them a way up 
Mental HEalth First Aid

Learn more about Mental Health First Aid and our upcoming classes 

Mental Health First Aid

Just as CPR helps you assist an individual having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid helps you assist someone experiencing a mental health or substance use-related crisis. In the Mental Health First Aid course, you learn risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help.


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Bringing Mental Health First aid to the music community

The loss of iconic musician Jeff Austin hit founder of the VA Way, John, very hard.


Yonder Mountain String Band was the first bluegrass music that he was introduced to in New Orleans at a 2am show during Jazz Fest and that show forever changed his life. He believes that night discovering Jeff Austin set him on the path that he is on today.  Jeff's death highlights the crises of mental health in ALL communities, especially our music community.


The VA Way is partnering with Mental Health First Aid of Maryland and the Delfest Foundation to bring mental health first aid training to our music community to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness and increase awareness so that as a community we cultivate understanding and compassion for ourselves and others and build a strong support network to prevent future loss of any of our brothers and sisters due to mental illness. 



The Horizon Foundation and United Way of Central Maryland have named the VA WAY as one of 9 finalists for the 2019 Changemaker Challenge! We are grateful to have been chosen among the 56 applicants who submitted their big ideas for social change, and we are excited to  have the chance to win up to $25,000 to bring Mental Health First Aid to the Veteran community! Want to cheer us on? Get your FREE ticket today to watch on November 11 at the Changemaker Challenge live event.

Four prizes totaling $60,000 will be given in the amounts of: $25,000, $15,000, $10,000 and $10,000. One will be awarded to a project serving people with developmental or intellectual disabilities.

Changemaker Challenge Live Event
Monday, November 11, 2019
6:30 – 8:30 pm (doors open at 5:45 pm)
Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, Kossiakoff Center
11100 Johns Hopkins Road, Room K215
Laurel, MD 20723

Learn more and register here today

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