The Veterans Behavioral Health Initiative
A Peer Outreach Network for Houston's Veterans
The Houston/Harris County Veterans Behavioral Health Initiative at Mental Health America of Greater Houston is an outreach network for veterans providing resources and support to help eliminate the stigma of mental illness and to encourage behavioral health care for those in the veteran community.
The initiative is responsible for:
- providing female veterans who have experienced military trauma greater access to care through pro bono counseling through a partnership with Santa Maria Hostel.
- working to improve services and mentoring capacity with the state’s regional veterans’ courts through coordination of transition plans to avoid gaps in care with community based services. As an emerging program, we are participating in the 2014 Justice for Vets- Veterans Court Conference (Anaheim, California).
- improving community collaboration, coordination of services and public awareness between the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center and Harris County through their partnership with Mental Health America of Greater Houston and recommendations from community organizations that participated in the 2013 Gulf Coast Region Veterans Mental Health Summit.
- partnering with the Harris County Veterans’ Court to provide a peer support networking program as part of the Court’s diversionary and mentoring goals. The positive impacts of Veterans’ Court include reducing jail time, cost of incarceration, and criminal recidivism while improving mental health recovery and successful re-entry into the community. The model that the initiative is developing with the Veterans Court has the potential of being replicated in communities around the country.
For more information about the Houston/Harris County Veterans Behavioral Health Initiative at Mental Health America of Greater Houston contact the director, Tony Solomon at firstname.lastname@example.org
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