The Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center will hold its second annual Veteran Mental Health Summit on Wednesday, Aug. 20, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Cranberry Country Lodge in Tomah. This year’s Veteran Mental Health Summit will be combined with an annual Veteran Homelessness Summit.

The purpose of the summit is to assemble regional stakeholders to develop ideas to further address mental health and homelessness, and to enhance access to mental healthcare services, for veterans residing in the 14 counties served by Tomah VA.

Tomah VA leadership, staff and health care providers from a variety of recovery and treatment programs will be in attendance. Community stakeholders invited to the summit include representatives from Veterans Service Organizations, VA Vet Centers, County Veteran Service Officers, elected officials, law enforcement agencies, and others.

The keynote speaker, the Honorable Judge Todd Bjerke, will then discuss the La Crosse Area Veterans Court, following overviews of local veteran mental health and homelessness.

Breakout sessions will be held to collect stakeholder’s input. The breakout sessions will identify methods and strategies to educate younger veterans and their families on the range of mental health services that are available, identify the gaps and/or challenges in accessing mental health services, and develop strategies to address the identified needs and gaps.  A separate breakout group will be focused on veteran homelessness.

For more information about the summit, please call the Tomah VA Public Affairs Office at 608-372-3971 ext. 67759 or by e-mail Scott.Farley@va.gov.