VA’s Vet Centers are the focus of a surprise video message on tonight’s episode of NBC’s Night Shift. NBC, working with Joining Forces and Got Your 6, will also air a public service announcement to kick off May as Mental Health Awareness Month. “It’s time for us to all be clear,” First Lady Michelle Obama tells viewers, “that getting support and treatment isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength.”
Vet Centers are community-based counseling centers that provide a wide range of social and psychological services including professional readjustment counseling to Veterans and active duty Servicemembers, to include members of the National Guard and Reserve components, who:
- Have served on active military duty in any combat theater or area of hostility
- Experienced a military sexual trauma while serving on active military duty
- Provided direct emergent medical care or mortuary services, while serving on active military duty, to the casualties of war
- Served as a member of an unmanned aerial vehicle crew that provided direct support to operations in a combat zone or area of hostility
- Vietnam Era veterans who have accessed care at a Vet Center prior to January 1, 2004
Vet Centers are able to create Veteran to Veteran connections as over 72 percent of Vet Center staff are Veterans and a majority of those individuals have served in combat zones.
Vet Center services are also provided to family members of Veterans and Servicemembers for military related issues when it is found aid in the readjustment of those that have served. This includes bereavement counseling for families who experience an active duty death.
If you can’t make it to a Vet Center in person, the Vet Center Combat Call Center 1-877-WAR-VETS is an around the clock confidential call center where those that served and their families can call to talk about their military experience or any other issues they are facing in their readjustment. The staff is comprised of combat Veterans from several eras as well as family members of combat Veterans. The call center has warm handoff capabilities with all Vet Centers, the National Crisis Hotline and the National Caregiver Hotline.