July 11, 2013 - At the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and in communities across our grateful nation, we are all committed to the health and well-being of the men and women who have served in uniform and their families. The invisible wounds of war follow our Veterans as they return, and it is our responsibility to proactively engage Veterans and promote their recovery. We at VA don’t just treat post-traumatic stress disorder, or depression, or substance abuse. We treat complex human beings, and we help them reintegrate into a life of family and community. In Fiscal Year 2012, more than 1.3 million Veterans received specialized mental health care from the VA.
On June 3, VA announced it had hired more than 1,600 additional mental health clinical providers to expand Veterans’ access to high quality mental health services and meet the goal outlined in the President’s Aug. 31, 2012, Executive Order. While VA has been expanding its mental health resources, we recognize that we cannot meet all the needs and challenges alone — we must collaborate and partner with other federal agencies, community based organizations, health care providers, Veteran Service Organizations, and local governments.
Last month, President Obama directed all 152 VA medical centers nationwide to host Community Mental Health Summits. These summits will 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. I’m pleased to report that our Summits will begin this month and our facilities are eager to host these summits in ways that will be meaningful for the participants. read more>>>
Meeting the mental health care needs of Veterans and their families is among one of the highest priorities for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). 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. In the interest of promoting community collaboration, each facility is hosting a Mental Health Summit. These Mental Health Summits are expected to help build or sustain collaborative efforts with community providers to enhance mental health and well-being for Veterans and their families. To learn about Mental Health Summits in your area, please use the map below. Click on your state for a list of summits in your area. Map and Much More>>>
July 11, 2013 - Today, I joined Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki, Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, and Director of the Domestic Council Cecilia Munoz for our Veterans and Military Family Mental Health Conference.
Mental health professionals, members of Veterans Service Organizations, Military Service Organizations, military family organizations, and representatives from the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs came together to discuss how we can better serve our veterans and military in regards to mental health.
The facts are sobering: Every day, we lose 22 veterans to suicide. Twenty two. read more>>>