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Real Men Wear Gowns: Veterans asking for help

The HeroCare program at Regions Hospital is helping break the stigma around mental health.

SAINT PAUL, Minn. — When dealing with a mental health condition or medical issue, asking for help can be hard for anyone.

The HeroCare program at Regions Hospital in St. Paul is working to break that stigma for Minnesota's veterans and service members.

Jessie Rae Rayle is one of the licensed social workers at HeroCare who helps patients understand the support systems in place to help with mental health and medical conditions.

"A lot of times people think of benefits, and the first thing they think about is the VA, because that's kind of our big benefit," Rayle says. "But there's a lot of local state benefits and also benefits in the community that people don't realize are out there for them."

The unique thing with HeroCare is everyone who works in the program is also a veteran or military member.

Asking for help can be difficult, but talking with someone of a similar background may help make a connection, provide a sense of relief, and allow a fellow military member to speak openly.

The program has even adopted the military tradition of handing out challenge coins.

"It's something you can hold in your pocket and know that your actions are appreciated," says Rayle.

Information and contacts for the HeroCare program can be found on the Regions Hospital website.