Veteran mental health key part of pledge signing


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Veteran mental health is a key part of a pledge signed by two dozen companies during a ceremony Nov. 13 at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C.

VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said the partnership with corporate America will hopefully help drive down the number of suicides. He said VA’s partnerships helped to reduce Veteran homelessness. In 2009, there were more than 75,000 homeless Veterans; now there’s less than 38,000.

Veterans receive mental health help through programs like Project Atlas, where Philips, VFW, the American Legion and VA teamed up to provide equipment for remote telehealth exam rooms. Approximately one third (nearly 5.2 million) of the Veterans that VA serves live in rural areas and often drive great distances to access VA care. Telehealth is vital to increasing virtual care with the use of the VA Video Connect application.

Veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses also receive help through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes program, which helps find them meaningful employment opportunities.

The more than two dozen companies who signed the pledge represent more than six million workers, said Eric Eversole, vice president of the chamber, president of Hiring Our Heroes and a Navy Reservist. This includes 20 Fortune 500 companies and 10 Fortune 50 companies.

The pledge

More than two dozen companies signed a “Pledge to Prioritize Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing in the Workplace.” The core actions are:

  • Overcome stigma, to normalize mental health problems and encourage mental and emotional awareness;
  • Adopt a comprehensive, proactive and education approach, to make available resources, training and educational opportunities for employees;
  • Provide access to assistance and services;
  • Assess and measure, to reduce stigmas, promote awareness and provide access to services;
  • Build a culture of inclusion, to create communities of support; and
  • Continuous evaluation and ongoing collaboration

The pledge started as VA initiative, Eversole said. Deborah Lafer Scher, executive advisor to the secretary who leads the VA’s Center for Strategic Partnerships, worked with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over the past two months to bring the pledge from a proposal to reality.

Author

Adam Stump

Adam Stump is a public affairs specialist with VA’s Digital Media Engagement team. He is a retired Air Force Veteran who served 20 years, including two deployments to Afghanistan for detention operations and special operations.

Comments

  1. Fuji Music    

    i use Telementalhealth twice and its very good

  2. Glen Cooper    

    I really would like to be more positive. There are indeed beneficial VA programs. Mental (in my experience) is not one of them. I started out (after medical discharge at Bay Pines in St. Petersburg. I first met with an immigrant who did no seem to have a grasp on English. I was prescribed Prozac by local County Doctor. I went to the VA so I did not have to pay out of pocket. I found myself on room full,of credentials of a drug abuse counselor. I had no record of any abuse (even alcohol) and this person tried to convince I was in some kind if denial. All I wanted was the Prozac already prescribed. Over the years I have seen both private and VA therapists do so I do have professionals to compare them to. They are not good. There is no collaboration and there is no team. They have absolutely no influence within the system, no respect, and I have found that the pain evaluators do not even check with them when they cut opiates. Now there is a NEED for that. I have a record of 10 years (documented) stating Considering suicide if I continued to rehabilitate. As I said, no collaboration. On another Vantage Point blog the VA admits to a link between drug tapering and suicide. I truly believe there are dead veterans because no one includes this to cause. The Adminstrators want to report reductions in prescribing but not increases in suicide. What is wrong with these people?

  3. Scott    

    Most VA Medical Centers have a Program called PRRC or Psychosocial Rehabilitations Recovery Center (if) now one has told you of this ASK your Mental Health practicing Doctor to Sign you up , you will be given a meetings to see if it’s something you would do. Its Awesome! Tampa and Saint Petersburg has The Program. Most all I heard do if they have a Center. You will get travel pay if you’re with in 40 miles of Hospital. It has saved my life and gave me so much information that worked right side by side with my Doctors on the outside of VA . Some meds VA Will not fill , get that done though SSDI or Medicare D if you have it . Keep your meds list on you at all times in case of emergency. Get in this program do the awesome therapy’s . Music Art Writing Photography Specking Skills they will help you also get correct path to Whole Health .

  4. How God Works    

    I’d like to testify my experience: I was admitted to the VA found toxic of lithium from another Doctor. The VA detoxed me, and found a medication that would make me more normal. When I went in I could only shuffle my feet to walk, couldn’t hold my head up to swallow so I drooled uncontrollably. I was almost void of thought. When I left as an inpatient to an outpatient I walked as a normal human being. I praise God and the staff for my healing. It’s been 23 years since I was diagnosed a manic bipolar. Today I’m very cognitive, and well balanced. At the age of 60 I made the dean’s honor roll studying Non Destructive Testing/ Applied Science. I’ve been on minimum dosage for 15 or more years. I’m very thankful, and remarried. I hope your health heals rapidly. Fellow Vet. US Navy Airedale; Fly Navy!

  5. Harold A Maio    

    —Overcome stigma, to normalize mental health problems and encourage mental and emotional awareness

    To overcome “stigma” stop voicing it. Each time you voice it people are listening and minicking.

    Provide a better model for people to mimic.

    Harold A Maio

  6. DARRELL DEMPSEY    

    I now use Telementalhealth 2 times a year. Thank ya VA for your part in my healing.

  7. DARRELL DEMPSEY    

    I’d like to testify my experience: I was admitted to the VA found toxic of lithium from another Doctor. The VA detoxed me, and found a medication that would make me more normal. When I went in I could only shuffle my feet to walk, couldn’t hold my head up to swallow so I drooled uncontrollably. I was almost void of thought. When I left as an inpatient to an outpatient I walked as a normal human being. I praise God and the staff for my healing. It’s been 23 years since I was diagnosed a manic bipolar. Today I’m very cognitive, and well balanced. At the age of 60 I made the dean’s honor roll studying Non Destructive Testing/ Applied Science. I’ve been on minimum dosage for 15 or more years. I’m very thankful, and remarried. I hope your health heals rapidly. Fellow Vet. US Navy Airedale; Fly Navy!

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