The Providence VA Medical Center will host its annual mental health summit, Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the fifth-floor auditorium of the main hospital building at 830 Chalkstone Ave.
Providence VAMC director Dr. Susan MacKenzie said in a recent press release that “Our mission at VA is to provide the exceptional health care veterans have earned through their service, but we know other people and organizations also play important roles in their lives.
We are inviting clinicians, veterans and their family members, and other community supporters to come explore how we can all work together to enhance the mental health and well-being of veterans and their family members in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts.”
The summit’s presentations and discussions will include: Veterans Access Choice and Accountability Act; National Resource Directory — The Community Experience; substance use disorder; needs of veteran families and caregivers; current innovations for veterans’ treatment; and, a research forum.
Operation Stand Down Rhode Island (osdri.org) will observe its 22nd anniversary of assisting at-risk veterans at Stand Down Weekend 2015, from Friday, Sept. 18, to Sunday, Sept. 20, at Diamond Hill State Park on Route 114 in Cumberland.
The event will gather homeless and low-income veterans from around Rhode Island and bring them to a military-style encampment with access to meals and services provided by OSDRI and its federal, state and community partners.
All services begin after the opening ceremony on Friday and are provided throughout Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, breakfast and lunch will be served, and assistance with housing and employment and training will be available until noon.
This year the Rhode Island District Court and Traffic Tribunal will set up at the encampment and begin sessions on Saturday at 10 a.m. Attorneys will be present on Friday afternoon in the legal tent and at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning to provide assistance for all veterans wishing to address issues before the court. You must check in and visit with an attorney prior to a court appearance on Saturday.
To sponsor a tent or to donate to OSDRI, call Dee at (401) 383-4730. For more information on Stand Down call (800) 861-8387.
RIPTA buses will leave from Providence’s Kennedy Plaza Stop Y at 7 and 11 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and an OSDRI return shuttle will leave Diamond Hill Park at 5 p.m. on those days.
OSDRI shuttles will operate as follows: leave from Pawtucket’s Salvation Army location at 102 High St. at 9 a.m. and return at 5 p.m.; leave the Woonsocket Depot, 1 Depot Square, at 9 a.m. and return at 5 p.m.; leave from the Newport OSDRI office at 164 Broadway on Friday only at 9 a.m. and return at 5 p.m.
As the encampment ends on Sunday, RIPTA transportation will leave Diamond Hill Park to return to Providence’s Kennedy Plaza at 1 p.m., and OSDRI shuttles will leave Diamond Hill for Woonsocket, Pawtucket and Newport at 1:30 p.m.