Rep. Napolitano Hosts Mental Health Roundtable
(Duarte, CA) On Friday, June 13, 2014, Rep. Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32) hosted a roundtable meeting at City of Hope in Duarte with her 32nd Congressional District Mental Health Consortium, a dedicated group of 40 local mental health professionals and advocates who advise Napolitano on mental health issues and policy.
“The Consortium works together to meet and network with mental health officials to address the needs of San Gabriel Valley residents from all walks of life,” Napolitano said. “The state of veterans’ mental health is one of the Consortium’s top concerns, as our heroes are returning with Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). We must prioritize services as a community: reach out to our veterans and their families, let them know of our support, and remind them it is always okay to seek help.”
“We appreciate the continued dedication of all members of the Consortium—and welcome new attendees—who volunteer their time and energy to work toward de-stigmatizing mental illness and promote mental wellness in our cities, our families, and our country,” Napolitano continued.
“The Mental Health Consortium is a wonderful service to the community which gives people a real understanding of the resources that are available to them,” said Alfredo Larios, District Chief for the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. “Mental health is such a key component of everyday life and this consortium really is a valuable service for our county.”
“The consortium is much needed network and resource in our community,” said Joe Leal, founder of the Vet Hunters Project. “As long as we have homeless veterans we will continue to create mental health resources, collaborations, and education on what we can do to serve veterans at the highest level so that we can continue to serve those who served us.”
Friday’s meeting focused on veterans, women and children, and Napolitano’s school-based suicide prevention program. After a presentation by Mr. Larios, attendees divided into five subcommittees for break-out sessions to discuss the day’s topics and network with fellow Consortium members. Later, the subcommittees presented their collective findings, including resources on veterans’ mental health.
Napolitano has been active in securing mental health parity in the Affordable Care Act, promoting mental health legislation, and working with prominent figures to increase funding and access to mental health services in Congress. Her 2001 program providing mental health and suicide prevention services on-site in four schools has expanded to 26 schools with assistance from Los Angeles County Mental Health, which now serves as a model program for H.R. 628, the Mental Health in Schools Act of 2013.
If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Press 1 to connect with the Veterans Hotline.
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