Advocates gather to discuss mental health care.

The Brock Institute, EVMS Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and additional partners jointly sponsor the yearly Joint Mental Health Summit. First established in 2014, the need for an annual summit grew out of frustrations with inefficiencies in the delivery of effective psychiatric services to acutely exacerbated patients with major psychiatric disorders and the desire to discover and correct the reasons for these inefficiencies. Moreover, address challenges in providing care for those struggling with mental illness and substance abuse. The Joint Mental Health Summits continue to engage stakeholders, lead discussion regarding gaps, develop strategies in collaboration with community partners to improve efficiency and effectiveness of services, and implement qualitative and quantitative measures to track improvements.

In addition to yearly summits, the Brock Institute sponsors four Working Groups, a collaborative approach comprised of key stakeholders to address Mental Health and Addiction in Hampton Roads. The Working Groups have served to clarify issues and begin the process of developing tangible and pragmatic solutions.

Highlights from past Mental Health Summits

May 2019

In an effort to increase awareness on the challenges and considerations that can arise as a result of military life, the 2019 summit focused on "Addressing Child and Family Mental Health Needs, Including Military and Veteran Populations." Our keynote speaker, W. Aaron Adams, MD focused on identifying Adverse Childhood Experiences and the factors that contribute to them. Partnering with EVMS Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, the Hampton Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and the Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters provided an excellent opportunity to highlight the resources and programs that are available here in Hampton Roads. Explore the agenda and presentations below:

May 2018

Nearly 30% of all Virginia veterans call our region home. With each veteran presenting with their own unique set of circumstances, needs and access to resources, practitioners often face a distinct set of challenges in coordinating care amongst different organizations and services. In response to these challenges, the Brock Institute partnered with EVMS Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the Hampton Veterans Affairs Medical Center to host a Joint Mental Health Summit. The summit focused on addressing addiction and mental health care for Hampton Roads veterans. Explore the presentations:

May 2017

The Mental Health Summit was moved to the month of May in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month. The summit focused on addressing the opioid crisis in our community. See who attended and explore working group presentations:

January 2016

During this summit, working groups were established to continue the efforts discussed throughout the summit.  

August 2014

The Brock Institute collaborated with EVMS Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences to sponsor the inaugural Mental Health Summit in the Hampton Roads region. Explore the agenda and participant information.

Working Groups

The Mental Health Working Groups meet quarterly to discuss: 

Identifying a Single Access Point

Develop connections between community partners to support our local service systems and their endeavors to provide a simplified process for those seeking treatment services in Hampton Roads. 


  1. Connect Individuals with available treatment options. 
  2. Increase communication between providers to ensure a straight forward transition between organizations. 
  3. Provide a forum for mental health service providers to compare referral processes to ensure that individuals are being correctly matched to the appropriate levels of service based need.

Gathering Community Resources

Compile an extensive and thorough list of mental health and substance abuse services and initiatives available throughout Hampton Roads to serve as a resource guide for those seeking information about treatment. 


  1. Develop a directory of service organizations throughout Hampton Roads for distribution. 
  2. Facilitate educational sessions for the community in specific areas of need.
  3. Advocate for the expansion of services through local and regional summits and conferences. 

Developing a White Paper for Hampton Roads to Address Mental Health Conditions

Develop and enhance mental health services in Hampton Roads by outlining community mental health needs and setting guidelines for the opportunities to address them. 


  1. Utilize data from the community to support recommendations and findings. 
  2. Prioritize community needs based on immediacy. 
  3. Access community readiness through responses to targeted surveys and community forums. 

Dispelling Stigma 

Educate the community about mental health issues, mental health, treatment, and access to treatment while challenging dated perceptions and ideas surrounding individuals living with mental illness and substance abuse. 


  1. Make mental health information available to the public through various methods: 
    • Presentations
    • Community events
    • Social Media 
  2. Facilitate collaborative meetings with partners. 
  3. Identify ways to utilize technology to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of message promotion and acceptance.