Health and Family Services Cabinet
Behavioral Health Conference Planned to Address Needs of Wounded Military Personnel
Traumatic Brain Injuries are Focus of May Meeting
The Kentucky Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities is hosting an event May 22 to address the needs of military personnel with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and combat/operational stress.
“This is a very important event addressing the mental health needs of our military service people,” said Health and Family Services Cabinet Secretary Janie Miller. “Many of our troops are returning home with injuries that affect both their mental and physical health. By collaborating with other agencies and community partners, we are working to reach this population and better address their needs.”
Operation: Headed Home will feature numerous speakers, including Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo, who will discuss various issues for military personnel affected by TBI. There is no cost to attend the conference, but participants are required to register in advance due to limited seating.
“The state of Kentucky must come together to provide appropriate services for our brave men and women returning from war,” said Lt. Gov. Mongiardo. “This conference gives us the opportunity to bring key stakeholders – health care personnel, military service members and family and loved ones – so that we can learn more about addressing the needs of this population.”
From 2003 to 2007, 43,779 service members were diagnosed with TBI, according the Department of Defense. Operation: Headed Home was created to better address the needs of this growing population.
“When this project began, we realized there were no resources available to educate service members going through TBI in Kentucky,” said Heath Dolen, program coordinator and co-founder of Operation: Headed Home. “This conference is a continuation of an ongoing effort in Kentucky that will establish the partnership between mental health and the military, and help guarantee that service members returning from war have a safe place to call home.”
Conference presenters will share information about behaviors of those returning from war, the importance of early intervention, benefits to service members with TBI, supportive services to military families and strategies for health care professionals.
The all-day event will be held at the Perkins Building on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University. Continuing education credits will be available. For more information, contact Justina Keathley, event coordinator, at (859) 622-4968.