On September 27, 2006, Governor Michael Easley hosted a Summit on Providing Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to Returning Combat Veterans and their Families.

It not only marked the beginning of a partnership between State and Federal agencies, community providers, programs, and advocacy organizations but it also resulted in State allocations that funded several initiatives, including a full-time Veterans liaison in the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services and training for behavioral health professionals.

The partnership became known as the Governor’s Focus on Servicemembers, Veterans, and Their Families; it has met monthly since the Summit and has become a vital forum for participants to share information about services, resources, and other initiatives. New partnerships have formed that have led to new services and programs and an increased awareness of issues confronting Servicemembers, Veterans, and their families.