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Veterans Conference - Agenda

Supporting Veterans and Service Members: A Mental Health and Community Imperative

June 28, 2013 
Room 294 SMSU 

2013 Agenda pdf


  • Welcome 


  • The Pre and Post Deployment Experience 
    • Chaplain (Colonel) Terry Larkin, Director, Service Member and Family Support Directorate, Oregon National Guard

Increase your understanding of the unique challenges we face in providing mental/behavioral health care services in Oregon and southwest Washington, and the differences from care provided to service members living here from those on active duty installations.  Review issues from pre-to post-deployment from both the service member and the family perspectives, and resources available to address them.


  • Family and Spouse Adjustment 
    • Megan Lulay Oregon National Guard (ORNG) Family Readiness Support Assistant

Hear about the Family Readiness Support ( FRS) program, mission, and philosophy as well as personal and professional experience of the spouse of Oregon Army National Guard soldier of 8 years.  Increase your understanding of skills, resources, and strategies to help military families cope before, during and after deployment.


  • Break 


  • PTSD: Updates and Tools 
    • Amy Wagner, PhD Staff Psychologist PTSD Clinical Team / Associate Professor, Oregon Health & Science University

Examine common presentations and co-occurring problems among veterans with PTSD, empirically supported treatments for PTSD, and recent innovations such as on-line resources and mobile applications.  Useful resources for providers will also be highlighted 


  • Substance Abuse Issues 
    • Jonathan Fellers, MD Addiction Psychiatry Fellow, Portland VA Medical Center

Receive basic background information about  substance abuse, and then more specific data describing how substance abuse impacts the veteran population in particular. Increase your ability to  identify substance abuse issues likely to affect the veteran population.


  • Lunch, on your own


  • Stand By Them: Intervening and Building Hope with Veterans, A Presentation of the Portland VA Suicide Prevention Team


    • Aimee Coughlin LCSW, Suicide Prevention Coordinator Portland VA Medical Center

Increase your understanding of provider anxiety, which is common when it comes to the topic of suicide. Shifting our perspective to having an opportunity to intervene with Veterans at risk for suicide is important. Learn the suicide prevention resources the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has to offer including how to create a Suicide Prevention Safety Plan. 


  • Supporting Veteran Reintegration into the Civilian Workforce 
    • Leslie Hammer, PhD Professor, Industrial / Organizational Psychology Director, Occupational Health Psychology Program and Debra Brooks, Psychiatric social worker

Receive an overview of a study recently funded by the Department of Defense to address a much needed demand for interventions in the work-family domain.  By targeting specific behaviors and supports at the civilian supervisory level, this intervention should empower returning veterans and increase resiliency by increasing available resources and reducing job demands and strain, including work-family conflict. 

These changes are expected to yield benefits at the individual (i.e., veteran) and organizational levels, which include better psychological and physical health among the veteran and family members, as well as decreased absenteeism from work and increased intentions to stay with one’s job.


  • The Bravery in Seeking Care:  Portland VA’s Comprehensive Care of Returning Veterans
    • Rachel Krokus, MSW, LCSW   Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) / Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) /Operation New Dawn (OND) Program and Leah Christensen, LCSW Caregiver Support Coordinator/VISN 20 Caregiver Support Program Lead

Presenters will provide an overview of the programs available to returning Veterans and their families. Case presentation will highlight a seriously injured combat Veteran and the access of services at the VA.


  • Closing 

Downloadable handouts