VA Palo Alto Health Care System
Mental Health Summit at VA Palo Alto
PALO ALTO, Calif. -- The VA Palo Alto Health Care System held a Mental Health Summit on Aug. 29, 2013, to better collaborate with community partners from around the Bay Area in a special dialogue about the mental health needs of local Veterans. The summit is part of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ effort to enhance the mental health and well-being of Veterans and their family members through increased collaborations between VA and the community.
"This is about collectively helping each individual to the absolute best of our ability," said VAPAHCS Director Lisa Freeman in her opening remarks. "We owe this to our Veterans."
Nationally, the number of Veterans in VA being treated for mental health has increased 45 percent between 2005 and 2012, reaching about 1.8 million people. Recognizing the need to create a support system for our nation's Veterans, VA facilities across the country are hosting summits to focus on a variety of issues such as homelessness, substance abuse, PTSD and services for women Veterans as they pertain to mental health.
In addition to local and national VA professionals, the summit was attended by nearly 100 guests across 50 regional organizations, including local civic and congressional officials, county mental health departments, local health care and education institutions, American Legion Posts, Paralyzed Veterans of America, military liaisons, Operation Freedom Paws and the National Alliance on Mental Illness. A general session and two breakout sessions brought ideas of better communication and pooling resources so Veterans can easily reach out for help.
View the photo album from the VAPAHCS Mental Health Summit on the VAPAHCS Facebook page. Also, visit the VA Mental Health site to learn more about Mental Health Summits across the country.