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Symposium to focus on vets’ mental health

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A local organization that helps military veterans is reaching out to all Jennings County residents to help them identify mental health issues before a situation turns tragic

The county’s Veterans Service Office is hosting a symposium at 3 p.m. Thursday at the Jennings County Public Library.

“We don’t want this to be just about veterans; we want it to be about everyone. We are simply losing too many people in this county to suicide, drugs and alcohol,” said Jennings County Service Officer Mike Eastman.

The symposium is modeled on the national Veterans in Crisis Public Awareness Program, already in progress across the state.

“We see people in the workplace, in society or even in our own families that seem to be struggling, but we just don’t know what to do or how to help them. This symposium will help identify certain problems and where to go to get help,” said Eastman.

Speakers for the event will include Travis Field, the director of suicide prevention at the Indianapolis District of Veterans Affairs, and Dr. Joan Davis of Centerstone’s psychiatric center in North Vernon.

North Vernon Mayor Harold “Soup” Campbell, North Vernon Police Detective Jeff Day and Eastman also will be a part of the afternoon’s presentation.

The public and health care professionals may attend. Refreshments will be served. Local businesses have donated items as door prizes.

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