Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office
Gov. Beshear, Department of Veterans Affairs Announce Expansion of Mental Health Services for Veterans in Western Kentucky

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, March 03, 2015  
Contact Information:  Kerri Richardson
Terry Sebastian
502-564-2611
 


Telemental health now available for veterans in region

FRANKFORT Ky. – In an effort to expand mental health services to veterans in western Kentucky, Gov. Steve Beshear, and state and federal veterans officials are announcing the start of telemental health services out of the Joseph “Eddie” Ballard Western Kentucky Veterans Center in Hanson.

Telemental health is a provision of mental health services using live, interactive videoconferencing, mainly in rural and underserved communities. Use at the Hanson facility will increase the quality of mental health services in the region and will decrease long travel times to other facilities veterans commonly face.

“We have worked hard the last several years to strengthen mental health services for service members, veterans and their families across the Commonwealth,” Gov. Beshear said. “It’s critical for us to take care of our veterans and provide the best care that they need and rightfully deserve. This includes greater access to mental health services.”

The federally-operated Hanson Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) will provide telemental health services out of the Hanson state facility to veterans living in western Kentucky and the surrounding areas.

The primary focus of the Hanson CBOC will be telemental health, but the facility will eventually expand its on-site counseling services.

“Many of our veterans at every level struggle with mental health issues, so by starting telemental health services out of our Hanson facility, we are helping veterans in western Kentucky receive specialized counseling by trained experts closer to their homes,” said Heather French Henry, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs. “My office will continue to partner with the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs to strengthen all of our veterans programs statewide.”

President Obama recently signed The Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act, which provides more resources to the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs and highlights the ongoing need for more mental health services for veterans, she said.

For more information on the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs and mental health services for veterans, call 502-564-9203 or visit http://veterans.ky.gov.

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