The Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center is hosting two events this week focused on issues facing veterans and their families.
The first is a mental health summit on Wednesday, followed by a job fair on Thursday.
Tuscaloosa VAMC is partnering with the West Central Alabama Area Health Education Center (AHEC) to host the 2nd Annual Community Mental Health Summit.
The summit will be in the Building 4 Auditorium from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The purpose of the summit is to enhance the quality of mental health care for veterans and their families through partnerships between the VA and community healthcare providers and organizations, since most veterans and their families will seek some healthcare outside the VA.
Tuscaloosa VAMC Spokesperson Damon Stevenson said the focus on veterans' families is an important part of mental health care.
"The family is also going through this experience," Stevenson said. "When their loved one has been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, and they're experiencing problems, that means the family is experiencing problems. So, we want to work with the community partners, health care organizations, to make sure we take care of the family, as well."
The job fair on Thursday will be in the Sports Atrium of Building 137 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.
The job fair is designed to give veterans and their families more information about jobs, operating small businesses, educational benefits, vocational rehabilitation, legal assistance and consumer credit counseling.
Potential employers from Tuscaloosa and surrounding areas will participate.
"Veterans have experienced many things that are character building," Stevenson said. "They've shown that they have discipline, self-discipline, that they're committed, they're loyal to the task at hand. So, employers look for those qualities."
The VA asks job seekers to bring their resumes and be prepared for possible interviews. Immediate family members of veterans are also invited.
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