National Center for Healthcare Advancement and Partnerships
OCE Partnership Impact
Mental Health Awareness Month: How OCE partnerships and innovations contribute to better mental health
While some of the activities described below are on hold at the moment until social distancing restrictions are lifted, VHA’s Office of Community Engagement supports several partnerships and innovations that contribute to Veterans’ mental well-being, which is especially important during Mental Health Awareness Month.
- The Atlanta VA Health Care System Veteran Community Partnership (VCP) collaborates with VITAS Healthcare, a palliative care and hospice services company, to offer healing and hope for Veterans with other than honorable (OTH) discharges.
- Pet Partners brings joy to patients and visitors at VA Medical Centers in the form of visits from pets and other animal-assisted activities.
- A partnership between Americans for the Arts and VHA gives Veterans access to relaxing arts and humanities activities that get the endorphins going, such as dance, storytelling, and music. VA staff said that Veterans who participate in art therapy ask less frequently for pain medication and nurse assistance, leave health care facilities sooner, and get better faster.
In addition, VHA’s Center for Compassionate Care Innovation (CCI) is making strides in improving and supporting Veterans’ mental health:
- CCI is exploring the use of two promising treatment options that may help ease Veterans’ symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder: hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) and stellate ganglion block (SGB).
CCI supports the Mental Health Mobility Service Dog Initiative, along with VA Offices of Mental Health Services and Prosthetic and Sensory Aids Service. The initiative provides for veterinary health care, specialized equipment, and travel support for Veterans with chronic mobility issues associated with a mental health disorder to help them with some of the costs involved with caring for their service dogs.
Posted May 13, 2020