July 26, 2013
As part of the VA’s efforts to expand mental health resources to meet Veterans’ needs, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is partnering with Mental Health America of Greater Houston to host a groundbreaking Veterans Mental Health Summit in Houston on August 20, 2013. This special event will involve community, government, healthcare and political groups in southeast Texas coming together to pool resources and coordinate services to serve a growing number of Veterans who are seeking mental health care. Houston Mayor Annise Parker, along with MEDVAMC Director Adam C. Walmus, will kick off the event , which will include Veteran testimonials and an agenda that will facilitate working together to meet the needs of America’s Veterans.
“This is an opportunity for all of us to sit at the same table, to listen and learn from each other,” said Dr. Laura Marsh, Director of Mental Health Services at MEDVAMC. “We all want the same thing…for our Veterans and their families to be well cared for. We will achieve the quality coordinated services our Veterans need and deserve only when we work together with our community partners.”
Throughout the summer, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will hold similar mental health summits at each of its 152 medical centers across the nation to establish and enhance positive working relationships with their community partners. The summits will help encourage community engagement in order to better address and understand the broad mental health care needs of Veterans and their families. The summits will bring together mental health specialists, government officials, and veterans service organizations, with the goals of facilitating communication and collaboration between these groups.
Meeting the mental health care needs of Veterans and their families is among one of the highest priorities for our nation. While VA continues to expand mental health resources to meet the needs of Veterans, truly Veteran-centric, recovery-oriented care requires active collaboration and coordination with partners in the community. Through collaboration, VA can promote awareness and utilization of VA mental health resources, help Veterans gain access to community services, and build healthy communities for Veterans and their families.
All agencies or organizations who are dedicated to meeting the mental health needs of Veteran and their families are invited to participate in the MEDVAMC’s Veteran Mental Health Summit in Houston. For more information about this event, please contact Rebecca Lancaster 713-794-7144.
Mental Health Summit website: www.mentalhealth.va.gov/summits.asp
Video: White House Video featuring First Lady Obama and Dr. Jill Biden: http://youtu.be/tQt8zYWxDWg
Video: VA News featuring Under Secretary for Health Dr. Robert Pretzel: http://ow.ly/nmmV7