Bay Pines to Host Veterans Town Hall Focused on Suicide Prevention

The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System (VAHCS) will host a Veterans town hall meeting on Wednesday, July 12, 2017 from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.  The event will take place in the J.C. Cobb room located on the first floor of the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center (building 100) located at 10000 Bay Pines Blvd., Bay Pines, Fla. 33744. VA outreach services and program representatives will be available prior to the event starting at 3:00 p.m.  to assist Veterans. Services available will include VA health care enrollment and eligibility; VA benefits assistance; and patient advocate services. Unlike previous town hall meetings conducted by the Bay Pines VAHCS, the event will focus specifically on the issue of suicide among Veterans and ways the VA and the local community can collectively improve suicide prevention efforts. Veterans and their families, congressional stakeholders, Veteran Service Organizations, and concerned citizens are encouraged to attend the town hall to learn about suicide prevention services available through the VA and to share ideas about ways to better assist Veterans in need. “One suicide is one too many. The VA and our partners, communities, families, and friends must do better on behalf of those who sacrificed so much for the freedoms we enjoy,” said Suzanne M. Klinker, Director, Bay Pines VA Healthcare System, in an editorial published on June 9.  Read the full editorial here: www.baypines.va.gov/pressreleases/20170609.asp. “We must work harder together to expand available resources and access to vital mental health care services, create safety networks, educate and inform, eliminate bureaucracy and barriers, and intervene as appropriate to prevent suicides before they occur.  This is not just the responsibility of our healthcare system or the VA at large – it is everyone’s responsibility,” she said. For updated information about the Veterans town hall meeting or to learn more about the Bay Pines VAHCS, please subscribe to receive updates via email at www.baypines.va.gov/news/e_news_subscribe.asp, or connect with us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/vabaypines, and Twitter, www.twitter.com/vabaypines.

About Jeff Cavanagh

Jeff Cavanagh spent his freshman year at St. Petersburg Junior College back in the early 70s before enlisting in the United States Navy. Soon after, he attended Jacksonville University on a Navy ROTC scholarship. After college, he was commissioned and became a qualified Surface Warfare Officer spending the next 22 years honing his skills as a ship-handler and expert recruiter before retiring in 1994. Jeff expresses a deep sense of pride in St. Petersburg College due to connections that go back many years. His father, Tom Cavanagh, was a career Air Force fighter pilot and combat veteran who taught Geography and Western Civilization at St. Petersburg Junior College in the 60’s and 70’s.

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