Bonham V.A hosts mental health summit

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(BONHAM, TEXAS) -- The Bonham V.A hosted a mental health summit Friday morning,taking another step toward meeting the needs of veterans and their families.

Harper Hall at The Bonham V.A was filled with community leaders like Bonham Fire Chief Brad Nichols, Fannin County Judge "Spanky" Carter, as well as doctors and dozens of veterans from Texas and Oklahoma for the V.A health summit.

The morning started with a special message via satellite from First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden to remind attendees of the importance of mental health care for veterans.

Michelle Obama, " the unseen wounds of war stay with our veterans for years..even decades after they leave the battle field."

Doctors and therapists spoke about innovative therapy treatment programs for veterans suffering from everything from PTSD to substance abuse.

Veteran Erik Balodis grew up with an alcoholic mother and turned to alcohol himself after serving in the navy.. He says counseling at the Bonham V-A gave him his life back, " ounselors..just everybody that has opened their arms and hearts to me..i just have to say thank you so much."

It was a chance for veterans and their families to connect to health care professionals by sharing their experiences.

Dr. Steven Bender told Alexandra Carter he was pleasantly surprised with the large turnout and hopes the Bonham V.A will host many more summits in years to come.