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Veterans Mental Health Councils

Veterans Mental Health Councils (VMHC) are a way for you and your family to work with your local VA Medical Center. A VMHC is a group of Veteran mental health consumers and their family. A consumer is a Veteran who is having or who had mental health services. 

A council may include people from community mental health groups such as:

  • The National Alliance on Mental Illness

  • The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

  • Veteran Service Organizations

  • Local community employment and housing representatives

The Medical Center's Local Recovery Coordinator or other mental health staff member serves as a liaison to the council. The liaison aids the work of the council. They help communicate with the leaders of your VA facility's mental health programs. The council is independent of the VA. But partnership is the goal.

What is the purpose of a VMHC?

A VMHC helps Veterans learn about local VA mental health programs. It can give you information about local mental health resources. The goal is to help improve the quality of VA mental health services. A VMHC can also help you understand and use those services.

Why are VMHCs important?

All VA mental health services need to be recovery-oriented. There are key elements of recovery-oriented care. They include the role of you and your family in:

  • Being in contact with the mental health care system

  • Giving you the means for feedback

Veterans who use VA mental health services need to have real and meaningful choices for care. They need to have an active voice in decisions about their care. VMHCs are a vital way for Veterans and families to have input in VA mental health systems. They also learn how VA cares for and gives services to Veterans.

For more information

  • Contact your facility's Mental Health service to find out about their VMHC.

  • If your facility does not have a VMHC and you want to form a council, talk with the facility's Local Recovery Coordinator.

  • Find a list of VA facilities online at www.va.gov.

  • Find information about VA healthcare benefits at http://www1.va.gov/health/index.asp.

  • Call VA's general information hotline at 800-827-1000. 

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 5/1/2019
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