K9 group attends health conference

From left to right, Darlene Bos, (NOMV) Not One More Veteran Inc., San Francisco; Rob White, K9 Partners for Patriots, Brooksville; Paige Richie-Alleyne, Nurse Family Partnership, Denver; Gen. Barrye Price, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), Alexandria, Va. 

BROOKSVILLE — K9 Partners for Patriots was among more than 50 nonprofit partners attending the AmerisourceBergen Foundation’s fourth annual Grantee & Nonprofit Partner Conference. 

The two-day event in Conshohocken, Pa., helped to facilitate collaboration, best-practice sharing and discussions about how to improve and impact the quality, equity and access to healthcare for global change. 

Several nonprofit partners, including Not One More Vet, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, Nurse-Family Partnership and K9 Partners for Patriots, shared their common goal and challenge of breaking down the stigma of mental health. 

Robert White, chief operating officer for K9 Partners for Patriots, told the gathering, “Educating service members, veterans as well as the local community about the signs and symptoms of PTSD is key in eliminating the stigma of accessing mental health care. The perilous pattern of self-isolation too often leads to the premature end of life. Admitting that you have symptoms of PTSD does not mean that you are broken or weak. Not all scars are visible and seeking mental health care should be viewed the same as seeking care for physical problems.” 

He added, “Mental healthcare needs more awareness from the general public as well as the V.A. which will hopefully lead to more funding and treatment solutions. Too many lives have been lost to PTSD and our goal is to eliminate this tragedy.”

Panelists noted the importance of working collectively and recounted the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic had on the increase in mental health-related incidents and the urgency people must now have to eliminate the problem and ultimately giving people an opportunity at life.