Butler VA Health Care System
Mental Health Week 2010
September 15, 2010
(BUTLER, PENNSYLVANIA) – As part of national “Mental Illness Awareness Week,” VA Butler Healthcare invites the public to a “Recovery Recognition Day” on October 7, 2010, from 1pm to 3pm at the VA Butler Healthcare Auditorium. The Center for Behavioral Health will be presenting certificates and medals to more than 20 Veterans for their personal achievements in recovering from mental health problems.
“We want to get the message out that Veterans who are troubled by mental health issues can recover,” said Dr. Mark Urich, VA Butler psychologist. “It is possible to live satisfying and productive lives.”
Mental illness has a lot of negative stigma associated with it and many Americans feel embarrassed or ashamed. The fear of being labeled or discriminated against keeps many Veterans from getting the help that they need. Mental illness is a fact of life: like diabetes, heart disease, cancer or any other serious illness.
“No American would deny someone with diabetes services or employment,” said Urich. “People with mental health issues need to be offered the same consideration as every other American. This requires a change in how society, healthcare providers and our patients are educated on mental health.”
Those Veterans dealing with behavioral health issues have many different programs available to them at VA Butler Healthcare. There are outpatient mental health treatment programs, work therapy and employment rehabilitation programs, and a residential substance abuse program. The Butler VA has helped thousands of Veterans achieve and sustain sobriety, find and maintain quality employment, and sustain positive mental wellbeing. The VA also has active programs in suicide prevention and is launching new programs aimed at eradicating Veteran homelessness.
“We have helped Veterans who have been homeless, chemically dependent, and unemployed for years, and some of them are now college graduates working to help others with similar issues,” said Urich. “If we can get the word out to Veterans that they can be helped and have independent, creative and productive lives, think of how many more people we can help.”
VA Butler Healthcare, located on a scenic wooded 88-acre campus in the heart of Butler County, Pennsylvania, is the provider of choice for over 17,000 Veterans throughout Western Pennsylvania and parts of Ohio. VA Butler, a member of VA Healthcare-VISN 4, provides primary care, specialty care, mental health and social support services to Veterans at its main campus and serves a rural Veteran population through community based outpatient clinics (CBOCs) in Armstrong County, southern Butler County (Cranberry Township), Clarion County, Lawrence County, and Mercer County. VA Butler Healthcare has over 6OO employees and volunteers dedicated to meeting the diverse needs of America’s heroes, now and in the future. For more information about VA Butler Healthcare, and links to special programs and initiatives, interested persons can log onto http://www.butler.va.gov”. Media queries and requests should be directed to David Virag at (724)-285-2576 or David.Virag@va.gov.
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