VFW-SVA Mental Health Stand-To
The VFW and its partners are committed to changing the dialogue on mental health for America’s veterans and our communities. SVA Chapters are encouraged to host an event focused on educating their members about the important topic of mental health and wellness, offer proven tools to intervene on behalf of veterans in crisis, and participate in or host a community service event.
Collectively, we believe in gathering veterans and their families, community members and clinicians together, to connect in a positive environment. Furthermore, we want to use this as an opportunity to encourage all Americans to pay attention to their emotional well-being as well as the emotional well-being of others.
The VFW will sponsor SVA Chapters with a $500 VFW-SVA Mental Health Stand-To grant to host an event in support of Mental Health Awareness. We encourage SVA Chapters to think outside the box while creating events to initiate the discussion on campus or in the community on mental health and resources.
Events do not need to focus solely on the veterans’ community, but should portray veterans as leaders in changing the national dialogue on mental health.
- Have a walk, run or road march or any physical activity/sporting event which culminates with a gathering to discuss mental health concerns and resources.
- Provide a guest speaker or participate in a town hall meeting.
- Conduct a clean-up or community service event with a gathering afterwards to discuss mental health concerns.
- Participate in a partnered event with local first responders.
- Partnered event with other campus groups or Health Services to start community discussion on mental health.
- Have a campus-led volunteer event at local VA health care facility.
- Open-invitation cookout/BBQ to promote the “Five Signs” of emotional stress and highlighting mental health resources.
VFW reserves the right to determine other qualifying factors based on individual proposals. Certain kinds of events that we will not consider include, but are not limited to:
- Beer bashes/private parties or other events that promote substance abuse or alcohol consumption.
- Politically motivated events.
- Events not inclusive to the campus community or the community in which you reside.
Why a stand-to? Stand-to, short for 'Stand-to-Arms', is the process observed in the morning (Before Morning Nautical Twilight) and in evening (End Evening Nautical Twilight) in preparation for an impending attack, as during the hours of dusk both active and passive optics are impeded. Although it is unknown when the process was actually established, some of the earliest records of the process taking place were captured during the Indian Wars, as it was common for Native Americans to attack during the early hours of the morning.