U.S. Department Of Veterans Affairs Holds Mental Health Summit - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

U.S. Department Of Veterans Affairs Holds Mental Health Summit

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FAIRMONT -

Community members came together in Fairmont to discuss the mental health needs of veterans and their family members.

Doctors said soldiers can experience a variety of things while they are at war and a lot of it can follow them home.

"Some veterans experience more significant mental health issues like post traumatic stress disorder, traumatic head injury, also trouble finding employment," said Dr. Heather Brown, VA Medical Center.

Doctors said it's a lot more common than people realize.

"There are a lot of people who do well and don't have a lot of problems. But there is probably a great number coming back with some sort of issues whether it be physical issues or mental health issues. Our goal is to try to deal with all of those issues in kind of a total package," said Dr. Joel Vogt, VA Medical Center.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs said meeting the mental health needs of veterans is one of its highest priorities.

It hosted Mental Health Summits all over the country on Tuesday to spread awareness.

"I hope they leave with an understanding of how the VA can provide assistance and hopefully find ways we can partner together to reach out to those veterans and their family members who have not come forward at this point," Dr. Brown said.

The MH Summit invites the key stake holders in the community to share their thoughts on the mental health issues.

"They can be medical providers. They can be churches, they can be other mental health providers out in the community," Dr. Brown said.

Topics of discussion include Substance Abuse, Suicide Prevention, Employment, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

"I think post-traumatic stress disorder is a very common disorder. Probably much more common then we thought it was in the past. Especially with repeated deployment, people have been in combat and a lot of different situation a lot of different times. That adds up over time," said Dr. Vogt.

If you know a veteran suffering from PTSD or is having suicidal thoughts, you are encouraged to call the Veterans Crisis Line. The number is 1-800-273-8255.