Second Lady Karen Pence visits Charleston VA Medical Center

Local News

Charleston, S.C. (WCBD) – Second Lady Karen Pence saw first hand two demonstrations of mental health treatments, spoke to veterans, and met with doctors and mental health professionals Wednesday.

The first demonstration was a transcranial magnetic stimulation. The treatment is used by VA hospitals to treat depression and mental health conditions that could lead to suicide. Two veterans shared how they benefited from the technology.

“I’m not the person at this table, for sure, who is the expert for helping our vets, but I do know while I am in this position I can elevate it and one of the main things that I want to do is get rid of the stigma and start the conversation,” commented Pence.

The center also showed a virtual PTSD treatment with psychological monitoring which helps identify triggers for veterans.

“We just launched our REACH campaign about reaching out and talking about suicide. That’s the first step. Once we start talking about it, this is where we want our men and women to come,” Pence stated.

Charleston’s VA medical center was the first Veteran’s Affairs Center to set up a telemental health hub, servicing veterans across the east coast. Telehealth services have gone up 1,100% due to COVID-19.

“Now veterans don’t have to walk into a building, don’t have to have everybody looking to see where they’re going. They can do it at home or on an iPhone. That’s part of the brand and the VA does telemental health and virtual care better than anyone,” said Director and CEO of Ralph H. Johnson VA Healthcare System, Scott Isaacks.

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