PTSD Ė Getting Help
Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health problem that can occur
after a traumatic event like war, assault, or disaster. PTSD
treatment can help. Find handouts, apps, videos, and courses based
on current research. This site provides educational resources for
Veterans and also for health care providers, researchers, and the
general public. The Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is
1800-273-TALK (8255) or visit www.suicidepreventionllifeline.org or www.ptsd.va.gov.
Vet Centers Can
community based and part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
The goal of the Vet Center program is to
provide a broad range of counseling, outreach, and referral services
to eligible veterans in order to help them make a
satisfying post-war readjustment to civilian life.
Centers may have lower visibility than regional offices and medical
centers, but the services they
provide are just as important. They were created in 1979 after it
was determined that Vietnam Veterans had sustained readjustment
difficulties after coming home from war. Since the first Vet
Centers started up around the country, they
have been offering mental health-centric services
like individual, group and family therapy, military sexual trauma
(MST), employment assessment, drug and alcohol treatment and more.
Vet Centers can be determined easily: if you or a family member were
deployed to a combat zone, you qualify for services. The
centers are all around the country, augmented by 50
Mobile Vet Centers reaching rural areas.
At least 300 Vet Centers are in the United States and surrounding
territories. In response to the growing number of combat
Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, 91 Vet Centers have opened since
makes Vet Centers unique to, say, a community-based clinic or a VA
medical center? The difference is in both the approach to
Veterans and services provided. Vet Centers are staffed by
mental health and family professionals like psychologists and social
workers who have specialized training to deal with the unique
challenges associated with combat Veterans, like PTSD. They
also offer services for families of war Vets. All this is done
in an environment that is as welcoming and non-clinical as possible.
Some Vet Centers are in small offices and buildings, so navigating a
hospital campus isnít a worry.
Centers are also strongly encouraged to hire combat Veterans to
staff the offices. War Vets are given hiring preference when
applying, and it would be difficult to think of a component of VA
that would benefit more from hiring Veterans who have previously
deployed. Unfortunately, some Vet Centers are staffed more than
others; Congressional mandates allow for the most in demand parts of
the country to fill first, with other areas following.
are led by a trained facilitator who retired as a U.S Army Major.
Everything from trauma to flashbacks to what to do if you
canít sleep, canít relax or are angry and irritable are fie
game. Vet Centers DO NOT
share any personal information with the VA.
of the group members are of similar age and all dealing with similar
issues regarding 40 or 50 years of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
AND senior citizenship.
most group members are Army & Vietnam vets, the group is diverse
enough for perspective on the war from across the Service Branches
such as the Air Force, Navy and Marines.
though most group members are dealing with similar PTSD symptoms and
issues, everybody is at a different stage of treatment.
Some have never sought diagnosis/treatment.
Some have just begun. Others
have been at it a while. This
not only provides an opportunity to hear about someone elseís
situation but also offers an opportunity to talk with somebody who
is distrustful or thinks they canít present a case to the VA.
facilitator ALWAYS talks about coping skills and often members of
the group themselves have some advice on how to make it through the
day, week, month. Most
feel better ďarmedĒ coming out than going in.
For example, the Holidays can be a tough time for vets with
PTSD enjoying themselves instead of agonizing over the fact that
some survived to SEE future Christmases and others didnít.
To get a full listing of places that support vets in Michigan, go
to va.gov. There are
four Vet Centers within 30 miles of Chapter #267.