Veterans mental health continuing education program

By Kathleen McInnis
Special to The SUN

The Southwestern Colorado Area Health Education Center (SWCAHEC) will host a Veterans Mental Health Continuing Education Program for health providers interested in improving the identification process of behavioral health issues for veterans and their families.

Participants will learn the extent of behavioral health issues in service members returning from combat, the importance of knowing about military culture, common behavioral health issues seen in service members, and the importance of asking all patients about their military service or the military service of close family members. The training is approved for one Continuing Medical Education (CME) credit for primary care providers, behavioral health providers, social workers, registered nurses and care coordinators.

The training will be led in part by retired Lt. Col. Charles “Charlie” Parnell. Parnell has been a local advocate for returning veterans seeking service benefits from government agencies.

The education program will take place Wednesday, June 26, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Mercy Regional Medical Center in Durango. Cost is $35 to attend, if you are seeking CME credit, or $10 if you are not seeking CME credit. Lunch will be provided. To register, contact, call 375-3250, or go online to by Monday, June 24.

The educational training is part of the nationwide Veterans Mental Health Project and is jointly sponsored by the Postgraduate Institute for Medicine, National Area Health Education Center Organization, Colorado School of Public Health and SWCAHEC.

SWCAHEC is a regional non-profit organization in southwestern Colorado that broadly focuses on improving rural health in eight counties; Archuleta, Dolores, Hinsdale, La Plata, Montezuma, Ouray, San Juan and San Miguel. SWCAHEC provides support and programs for the health community and for students interested in health professional careers.

This story was posted on June 20, 2013.