Summit gathers VA, community mental health experts Aug. 24 - Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center
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Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center

 

Summit gathers VA, community mental health experts Aug. 24

August 18, 2016

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Mental health care for Veterans takes center stage during an annual event at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center gathering VA employees and members of the community Wednesday, Aug. 24.

The MyVA Community Mental Health Summit for 2016 draws participants from the VA, Augusta Warrior Project, Georgia Department of Labor, the National Alliance on Mental Illness Lake Oconee, and Augusta University School of Nursing. Much of the VA mental health team, including social workers and others, will also be on hand for the event.

The half-day summit includes presentations on mental health care access, presentations by community partners, suicide prevention, and several breakout sessions discussing how VA and the community work to serve Veterans.

"We want to bring together key stakeholders in the community with the goal of enhancing access to mental health services and addressing the mental healthcare needs of Veterans and their family members residing in the Central Savannah River Area,” said Dr. Yekeen Aderibigbe, mental health service line chief.  

The summit will also address issues with homelessness and will include a family/caregiver forum. The VA hospital’s chief doctor said events like this matter for the VA and the community.

“Meetings like this help us get in sync with our community partners and help us align our resources,” said Dr. Oladipo Kukoyi, Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center chief of staff. “We look forward to the discussions and the outcomes as they ultimately serve to help the Veterans in our community.”

Medical Center Director Maria Andrews praised the efforts of everyone involved in the summit. “Bringing together our community partners for events like these really helps crystalize the importance of Veteran care in the community. We can’t do this alone. We have to rely on our partners in various areas to make it work. We’re grateful for the opportunity to work with them and learn together how we can best serve Veterans,” Andrews said.