To the Journal editor:
At the Oscar G. Johnson Veterans Administration Medical Center, and in communities across the Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin, we are all committed to the health and well-being of the men and women who have served in uniform.
We at the VA treat many disorders, including post traumatic stress disorder, depression, and substance abuse. But most importantly, we treat complex human beings, helping them to reintegrate into a life of family and community.
Last year, more than 3,100 Veterans received mental health care from our medical center and our seven community based VA outpatient clinics.
The invisible wounds of war follow many of our Veterans as they return, and it is our responsibility to proactively engage Veterans and promote their recovery. It is imperative that we come together as one community-including both public and private entities-to provide the care and resources they need and deserve.
As part of a national initiative directed by President Obama to improve mental health care for Veterans, we will be hosting a Mental Health Summit on Wednesday.
This summit is an opportunity for the medical center and its community partners to sit at the same table, to listen and learn from each other.
We all want the same thing, which is for our veterans and their families to be well cared for. We know that they cannot receive the quality, coordinated services they need if we are not talking to each other regularly and working together.
Meeting the mental health needs of veterans and their families is a mission we all share, as a community and as a nation.
James W. Rice, director
Oscar G. Johnson