What are Vet Centers and How Can They Help Veterans?
Returning from a deployment can be challenging in many ways and Vet Centers can help. Vet Centers are there to help combat veterans and their families through counseling, outreach and referrals. If you’re suffering from combat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or are experiencing other difficulties after returning from deployment, you should definitely look into these services which are always free and confidential.
What are Vet Centers?
Vet centers are part of the Veteran’s Administration (VA) and they work to welcome combat veterans home by providing readjustment services to them and their families. Vet centers are unique because they are comprised of people who truly appreciate and understand what you’ve been through in combat and use that understanding to enhance counseling services.
What Services to Vet Centers Offer?
The services Vet Centers offer center around readjustment counseling to help veterans successfully move from military to civilian life. Services are also available to the families of veterans. Services that Vet Centers provide include:
- Individual and group counselling
- Bereavement counselling for loved ones who have lost someone on active duty
- Military sexual trauma counseling
- Outreach and education
- Substance abuse assessment
- Employment assistance
- Benefits explanation
- Screening for medical issues including traumatic brain injury, depression, combat PTSD, etc.
Each of these services may be enhanced by additional referrals.
How Can Vet Centers Help Veterans?
There are many issues that come up during and after deployment that need to be handled and veterans often feel like they’re alone in doing so. Vet Centers step in and show the veteran that he or she is not alone and has resources to lean on to help tackle any deployment-related issue. It’s important to know that reaching out to a Vet Center is not a sign of weakness but, rather, a sign of strength as it acknowledges a problem and shows a person’s willingness to do the work to address the problem. And because these services are free and confidential, they are available to all veterans and their families.
More Information on Vet Centers
There is a 24-hour phone number for a veteran or family member handling post-deployment issues. This confidential service is available at 1-877-WAR-VETS. There is also a veteran’s crisis line available at 1-800-273-8255 (press 1).
Croft, H. (2014, July 2). What are Vet Centers and How Can They Help Veterans?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, September 22 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/understandingcombatptsd/2014/07/vet-centers-help-veterans
Author: Harry Croft, M.D.
I am a graduate student majoring in vocational rehabilitation for military veterans who suffer from PTSD. I am interested in how PTSD affects veterans and would very much like to work with this population after grad school. After reading your posts I do see that vet centers help veterans. Are there other places which offer these services if one chooses to seek help in the civilian sector?