State of Mental Health: The Military

Experts say the nation is facing a mental health crisis in the post pandemic era, and the military has not been spared. Members of the armed services and their families face intense pressures even in normal times. This forum will explore the impact of the mental health crisis on the American militiary and how it’s impacting families in Pennsylvania and throughout the world.

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Ret. Maj William Charpentier is a 31 year veteran of the U.S. Army Reserve and Pennsylvania Army National Guard having retired 2014. Mr. Charpentier’ s career was divided between the Armor branch and human resources. He was the Chief of Operations for Multi-National Division (North) in Bosnia and served as the 28th Infantry Division G1 in several short deployments in Egypt and various western and eastern European nations. His final duty station was with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard’s Service and Family Member Support division of the State’s J1 where he oversaw the State Family Programs branch, Resiliency, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention branch, Yellow Ribbon Reintegration branch, Employment Outreach branch and several smaller organizations. After retirement, Mr. Charpentier continued to serve the veterans, Soldiers and Families of the National Guard as a contracted Transition Assistance Advisor for the state of Pennsylvania, a position he held for 6 years. His current position is the Eastern Lead for the Soldier and Family Readiness Specialist. This position is a part of the State Family Programs for the National Guard. His military awards include 3 Meritorious Service Medals, 4 Army Commendation Medals, 2 Army Achievement Medals, the NATO Medal, 6 Army Reserve Component Achievement Medals. He received his baccalaureate degree in History from Slippery Rock University.

Dr. Tammy Shay is the daughter of an Army Veteran born in Frankfurt, Germany. She received her doctorate in social work from Kutztown University in 2022 and a master’s in social work from Temple University in 2000. She is a licensed clinical social worker and a certified advanced alcohol and drug counselor. She has 23 years of clinical experience in trauma, mental health, and substance use disorders. Dr. Shay started her career working with trauma survivors and became a state crisis responder post-9/11. Her experience led to her employment with the Pennsylvania Army and Air National Guard as the Director of Psychological Health. She then proceeded to a new role as a Military Family Life Consultant, where she provided support to military service members and families during pre/post-deployment briefs and at yellow ribbon events due to the Global War on Terrorism. After the guard experience, Dr. Shay directed a local community partial hospital program focusing on co-occurring disorders. In 2015, Dr. Shay brought this experience to Lebanon VA Medical Center and helped build a substance abuse outpatient program modeling the support of a partial hospital concept for Veterans while integrating case management services addressing financial, legal, and housing concerns. She currently works for the Portland VA Medical Center under a special funding National Veteran’s Health Administration project as the Data Program Manager for the Innovation Hub for Data & Analytics, focusing on Veterans who experience sexual violence post-military. 

Bill Meiser – Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of PA Homeless Veterans Chairman, a Mechanical Superintendent and a key, experienced, operational leader who oversees airmen by providing direct guidance and support to most effectively accomplish missions.

John Lucas,  Suicide Prevention Coordinator VA Lebanon health care to speak on the new compact act and mental health. The new Compact Act expands free emergency suicide care for Veterans. 

The event is finished.


Oct 30 2023


6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Highmark Blue Shield
1800 Center St Camp Hill, PA 17089