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Tomah VAMC hosts veteran mental health and homeless summit
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The Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) will hold its third annual Veteran Mental Health and Homeless Summit on Aug. 19, from 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.  This year, the Tomah VA has partnered with the La Crosse Area Veterans Mentor Program and Viterbo University to host the event at the Nursing Center, Viterbo University in La Crosse.

Every year since the release of the 2012 Presidential Executive Order, each of the 152 Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers have convened a Mental Health Summit.  The Tomah VAMC has brought together key stakeholders including Veterans Affairs Medical Center leaders, Veteran Service Organizations, military service organizations, nonprofit and nongovernment organizations, local/state/federal political representatives, along with community mental health professionals in an effort to further enhance access to mental health services for Veterans and their families residing in the 14 counties served by Tomah VAMC.

The focus of this year’s summit will be on supporting the caregivers who support the Veteran.  The keynote speaker with be Master Sergeant Jeff Johnson, United States Marine Corps, Retired, who will discuss the “Effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) on the Home Front”.  This will followed by a variety of speakers from the Tomah VAMC, Viterbo University and the La Crosse Area Veterans Mentor Program.

Lastly, break-out sessions offered covering topics, such as: Next Steps on this Health Journey, Identifying Unmet Needs of Homeless Veterans and The CHALENG Process, Military Culture for Clinicians, Discussion of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014.    Attendees will also have opportunities to network and to disseminate information on their Veteran services and programs.

Organizers anticipate having multiple booths for available with information for Veterans and their families.  The booths will be open to the public; however, pre-registration is required to attend the presentations.