On Oct. 20, Jacob Gadd - American Legion deputy director for Healthcare - Legion field service representative Warren Goldstein attended the Veteran Mental Health Challenges Entertainment Industry Event in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs, National Association of Broadcasters and the Entertainment Industries Council Inc. The event was part of the VA Office of Mental Health's Make the Connection campaign - VA's effort to engage with the entertainment industry to influence them to help veterans come forward to receive treatment for mental health.
There were three speakers during the event: Brian Dyak, president and CEO of Entertainment Industries Council; Sen. Gordon Smith, president and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters; and Dr. Sonja Batten, deputy chief consultant for Specialty Mental Health, Department of Veterans Affairs. Four entertainment media participated in a panel, which included Steve Katz, VP, Development, Walsh Productions; T.D. Mitchell, a writer for ‘Army Wives"; actor D.W. Moffett; and actor and director Carl Weathers. .
The Make the Connection campaign will officially launch in November and will feature more than 200 veteran profiles to encourage other veterans with mental health illness to receive care at VA. During The American Legion's 2011 National Convention, video profiles of American Legion members were recorded and will be used for the campaign. For more information on the Make the Connection campaign, please contact the VA&R Division by email.