(7/19/13) The Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center will hold a mental health and homelessness summit on Thursday, July 25, from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., at the Cranberry Country Lodge in Tomah, WI.
The purpose of the summit is to bring together stakeholders in the area to enhance access to mental health services and addressing the mental healthcare and homeless needs of Veterans and their support network residing in the counties served by the Tomah VAMC.
Staff from many disciplines at the medical center, including mental health case management, psychosocial rehabilitation and recovery center, homeless program, primary care, and social work, will be in attendance. Representatives from local law enforcement, Vet Centers, Veteran service organizations, elected officials, county Veteran service officers, and other stakeholders have also been invited to the summit.
The mental health summit will start with overviews of local mental health and homelessness and then move to breakout sessions.
The breakout sessions will identify current VA and non-VA resources for addressing the mental health care and homeless needs of Veterans and their family members. The sessions will also identify the gaps and/or challenges in meeting the mental health care and homeless needs of Veterans and their family members and develop strategies in collaboration with community partners to address the identified needs.
The mental health summit is the result of the Aug. 31, 2012 executive order from President Obama, as well as a memorandum from the VA Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Operations and Management directing medical centers to host a mental health summit. The executive order directs the VA to work with other federal agencies to enhance partnerships with community agencies. The Tomah VAMC has taken advantage of this opportunity, using it to also delve into issues of homelessness in the area and to explore opportunities for collaboration to enhance the quality of mental health and wellbeing for Veterans and their support networks.