Efforts to help veterans with mental health needs received a boost recently in the form of a $2,500 grant from the Arvest Foundation to Ozark Community Foundation Inc. in Mountain Home, Ark.

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The purpose of the grant is to aid in local outreach to veterans through community initiatives, public education and specific training in how to recognize those in need and obtain available resources. Those efforts are needed in part because veteran suicide deaths are about seven times greater than total active military service deaths, according to Dan Hall. Hall is the co-founder of US Veteran Outreach and the commander of Disabled American Veterans Twin Lakes Chapter 30, and accepted the grant on behalf of Ozark Community Foundation Inc.

“We appreciate this gift from the Arvest Foundation and its commitment to helping our veterans,” Hall said. “Research has shown that about 75 percent of veteran suicides are committed by those who are not part of the Veterans Health Administration system, which makes our efforts to reach those individuals and bring them into the system even more critical. Support like this grant from the Arvest Foundation is vital.”

Sally Gilbert, community president for Arvest Bank in Mountain Home, led a group of associates who presented the check to Hall on behalf of the Arvest Foundation.

“We are pleased to present this donation on behalf of the Arvest Foundation and honored to be in a position to support our local efforts and initiatives to help serve those who have served us,” Gilbert said. “This donation is just one of many we have made throughout the area. It demonstrates the foundation’s ongoing commitment to our community.”