Kennedy, Chafee host mental health forum


Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee and former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy are highlighting mental health challenges facing returning military service members.

The two men held a forum on veterans and mental health Friday in Cranston.

They were joined by a federal mental health official who says nearly one in five service members returns from Iraq or Afghanistan with post-traumatic stress disorder or depression. Traumatic brain injuries and substance abuse are other concerns.

The talk focused on efforts to help veterans through counseling and housing and employment services.

Kennedy is teaching a seminar at Brown University on using public health programs to improve mental health and brain research.

Chafee, an independent, recently visited National Guard members in Afghanistan and says it’s vital that veterans receive proper physical and mental health care.

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