Out of all the VA services I tell fellow Veterans about, Vet Centers might be at the top of the list. The revolutionary idea of community-based mental health and readjustment counseling began after the Vietnam War, and now over 300 Vet Centers are found across the country. The newest one just opened in the Oak Park area of Chicago, the eighth in the city.

From the Chicago Tribune:

The Oak Park Vet Center offers individual, family and group therapy; employment assistance; and support for family members of active duty military personnel. “Our services are available to all veterans who have served in combat, to any veteran who experienced sexual trauma in the military and to family members of military service members who are deployed,” said Jeanne Douglas, Team Leader of the Oak Park Vet Center. “We are thrilled to be able to serve hundreds of area veterans and their families in our beautiful new location. Our new Vet Center location features plenty of parking, access to public transportation and a comfortable environment to welcome our clients.”

Douglas hits on a few important points. Vet Centers are typically in nondescript buildings away from bustling medical centers, so it can be a much more welcoming environment than a big hospital. And the program is unique in two ways: family members qualify for counseling services along with Veterans, and they’re usually staffed with fellow combat Vets.

Also, if the hours aren’t convenient, you can work with the scheduler to make an afterhours or weekend appointment.

There’s probably a Vet Center somewhere near you, so check them out.

Intel Report, February 22
Veterans Ready to Serve Again

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8 Comments

  1. Ron Rains March 3, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    I’m a USAF vet and I’m working on a project with a not-for-profit to help active duty, vets and their families who are dealing with mental health issues. Take a look and help us help them, if you can.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/erasingthedistance/veterans-voices-mental-health-and-the-military?ref=vantage

  2. Ralph E. Woolsey March 3, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    As a veteran we need Pocatello to open up and let more of our vets go to our vet center

  3. G.Proft February 26, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    so has any body had a clame settle in 4 month,as i was told??

    • Bill Anderson March 3, 2013 at 5:29 pm

      Yes, Three Months, presumptive disability for diabetes and complications. 50% and special payment for ERD.

  4. Ralph E. Woolsey February 26, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Our vet center here in Idaho(Pocatello) is full to capacity and they are not taking anyone new to the VA. Some of us have to go 182 miles to Salt Lake for services.

  5. Gaylord Panske February 26, 2013 at 11:18 am

    As a veteran I see alot of need in the Oshkosh,Wi area. Why are we being skipped over?

  6. Shawn February 25, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    I had heard how wonderful these centers were, finally got my father to one because he was suicidal to only be told that his service time was not covered by the vet center and they could not help him!!

    • Alex Horton February 26, 2013 at 5:11 pm

      Shawn, sorry to hear that. did he seek care at another VA facility?

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