On Sept. 28, Amanda Souza, a Gold Star wife, stood up at a veterans town hall in Fort Lee, Virginia. With tears in her eyes, she told President Barack Obama about her husband, who committed suicide.

“He was diagnosed with PTSD,” she said. “But, unfortunately, like many of our service men and women, this was his career, this was his livelihood and he was too scared to go get help because he did not want to risk being labeled as unstable or weak.”

Because of that stigma, Souza explained, he took his own life. And now she’s worried about the next generation of veterans, like her son, who also volunteered to serve.

Trembling, she added, “How can we change the stereotype?”

After thanking her for her husband’s service, her son’s service, and her continued support for the military, Obama said, “ If, as a consequence of the extraordinary stress and pain that you are witnessing, typically, [on] a battlefield, something inside you feels like it’s wounded, it’s just like a physical injury. You’ve got to go get help.”

As for the stigma, Obama said, it needs to end.


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“There’s nothing weak about asking for help,” he added.

Watch the clip below.