Flags Honor Veterans Mental Health Awareness

Student organization honors first-ever Veterans Mental Health Awareness Week.

As part of the first-ever Veterans Mental Health Awareness Week, the Harvard College organization Harvard Undergraduates Honoring Veterans (HUHV) has placed 349 American flags on the lawn in front of Memorial Hall in honor of U.S. service members who took their lives last year as a result of mental health issues, specifically post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The flags, which will be displayed today and tomorrow, according to HUHV president Naji Filali ’14, are meant to spur campus conversation about the mental-health problems of service members who have returned from duty. 

“Memorial Hall was constructed in memory of the 136 Harvard men who died fighting for the Union during the Civil War and remains a strong reminder of Harvard's place in American history,” Filali said. “This Wednesday and Thursday, the Memorial Hall lawn will serve as a powerful visual display to both commemorate the brave men and woman who fight and die for our country each year, but more importantly, remind us that the battle for veterans does not end on the battlefield abroad.”

For an in-depth look into professor of psychology Matthew Nock’s research on suicide—particularly among members of the military—and self-injury, read “A Tragedy and a Mystery,” from this magazine’s January-February 2011 issue. 

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