Veterans gather for annual Mental Health Summit


Veterans across the region gathered in downtown Medford for the 6th Annual VA Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center & Clinics (VA SORCC) Mental Health Summit.

Social work supervisor Chris Petrone said the summit is intended to help the Department of Veterans Affairs partner with other community services.

Guests met with local organizations that offer services, including substance abuse treatments, homeless services, emergency care, and more.

The goal includes networking and connecting with community stakeholders and providing an overview of community and VA services available to Veterans.

Petrone said mental health is still a sensitive issue in society, but industry experts are working to bring more awareness to the subject.

"As more events like this are being held and more people get together and talk about it and talk about services, I think the stigma of having mental health decreases," Petrone said. "Therefore, people feel more comfortable with asking for help."

The event ended with a "suicide postvention training" covering important considerations following a suicide and strategies to prevent future incidents.

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