Sunday, July 13, 2008

VA Plans to Open 39 More Vet Centers

The Department of Veterans Affairs plans to open 39 more Veterans Centers across the United States before the fall of 2009, making mental health care more accessible to more combat veterans. “Community-based Vet Centers, already in all 50 states, are a key component of VA’s mental health program,” said Dr. James B. Peake, the VA secretary. “I’m pleased we can expand access to bring services closer to even more veterans, including screening and counseling for post-traumatic stress disorder.”

The existing 232 centers conduct community outreach to offer counseling on employment, family issues and education to combat veterans and family members, as well as bereavement counseling for families of service members killed on active duty and counseling for veterans who were sexually harassed while on active duty.

Vet Center services are available at no cost to veterans who experienced combat during any war. The centers are staffed by small teams of counselors, outreach workers and other specialists, many of whom are combat veterans.

The communities and counties receiving new Vet Centers are: Madison, Ala.; Maricopa, Ariz.; Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino and San Diego, Calif.; Fairfield, Conn.; Broward, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Volusia, Fla.; Cobb, Ga.; Cook and DuPage, Ill.; Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Prince George’s, Md.; Macomb and Oakland, Mich.; Hennepin, Minn.; Greene, Mo.; Onslow, N.C.; Ocean, N.J.; Clark, Nev.; Comanche, Okla.; Bucks and Montgomery, Pa.; Bexar, Dallas, Harris and Tarrant, Texas; Virginia Beach, Va.; King, Wash.; and Brown, Wis.

Eighteen of the counties that will have new centers already have one or more. The other 21 will receive their first centers.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary's News and Ideas.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him.

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