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Milwaukee VA Mental Health Summit aims to reach rural Veterans

PRESS RELEASE

September 9, 2022

Fond du Lac , WI — An event designed to connect rural Wisconsin Veterans to services available to them is set for Sept. 20.

The 2022 Milwaukee VA Mental Health Summit will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Fond du Lac County Fairgrounds Expo Center, 530 Fond du Lac Ave., Fond du Lac, Wis. It is free and open to the public. No registration is required.

With the tag line “Have your served in the armed forces? It is our turn to serve you and your family,” the event includes keynote speakers, a resource and employment fair, suicide prevention training and breakout sessions covering VA benefits and VA health care.

“We want to find out from rural Veterans and their families what they need and how we can best serve them,” said Dr. Michael McBride, Milwaukee VA Medical Center psychiatrist and one of the organizers of the annual Mental Health Summit.

He said there are more rural Veterans than urban Veterans enrolled in VA care, but access to services in rural areas continues to be a problem. Difficulties include spotty or nonexistent internet access, long driving distances to clinics/hospitals and a lack of local health care providers.

The summit will kick off at 9 a.m. with remarks by Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Mary Kolar, Milwaukee VA Medical Center Acting Director Jim McLain and Dodge County Veterans Service Officer Andy Miller.

Breakout sessions on benefits and health care follow at 10 a.m. and will repeat at 2 p.m. Suicide prevention training begins at 11:30 a.m. A keynote address at 1 p.m. will feature representatives from the Veterans Benefits Administration and the Milwaukee VA mental health division.

During breaks, participants can peruse the resource and employment fair, featuring more than 80 vendors and organizations, including about 30 firms looking to hire qualified veterans. Lunch will be available for purchase from the American Legion.

 

NOTE TO MEDIA: You are welcome to cover this event at any time throughout the day. Keynote speakers will be available for interviews at 8:30 a.m., prior to the start of the event. Contact Public Affairs Specialist David Walter at david.walter@va.gov or 414-384-2000, ext. 45176, to make arrangements.

Further information on the event is available from Rick Patton, Fond du Lac County Veterans Service Officer, at rick.patton@fdlco.wi.us.

 

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