Fayetteville VA Medical Center
Fay VA hosts community mental health summit
Community mental health and human services agencies, providers, vendors, Veterans and family members participated in Fayetteville Coastal Health Care System Annual Mental Health Summit Sept. 9. The summit was held at Fort Bragg’s Family Readiness Group (FRG) Center at nearby Pope Field.
The summit’s aim is to enhance mental health care for Veterans and their family members through collaboration between VA and community partners, said primary event organizer Sita Chandana Kanithi, Psy.D., FVAMC Mental Health Service Line Local Recovery Coordinator.
“The central goals of the Community Mental Health Summit are to identify existing resources and services, acknowledge strong practices, recognize gaps and challenges in meeting the mental healthcare needs of our Veterans and families, and begin conversations on how to bridge these gaps,” Dr. Kanithi said.
This year's theme was "3-D Recovery: Mind, Body & Spirit." Topics included: supporting transitioning servicemembers, serious mental illness, moral injury, substance use, employment, parenting and more. Subject matter experts will share helpful tips and information on recognizing mental health warning signs and how to access resources for help. VA and community resources will be highlighted in a resource fair. We will offer interactive wellness activities including chair massages, art/music workshops and giveaways.
The summit breakout sessions were designed to foster collaboration in a small group setting. The goals of the breakout session were to develop a plan with specific action steps to improve various aspects of mental health care of Veterans in the Fayetteville region.
“Meeting the mental health care needs of Veterans and their families is among the VA’s highest priorities,” Dr. Kanithi added. “VA recognizes that truly Veteran-centered care requires active and ongoing cooperation with the local community. Through collaboration, the 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.”
VA health care systems nationwide have conducted annual, locally-driven Mental Health Summits since Fall 2013.
For more information on VA Mental Health Program, visit http://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/VAMentalHealthGroup.asp.