Vet Centers – An Amazing and Underutilized Resource

Since September of last year, I have been utilizing my local Vet Center. See, I’ve been out of the military since 1998, and as hard as I tried, I never really felt “right”. I didn’t know what was wrong, but I knew something was not quite right. I struggled with every thing I did; and I truly felt like for the most part, I was just going through the motions.

At the beginning of last fall, I saw a news story and a few documentaries about women veterans, and their stories resonated with me – divorce, repo, not being able to manage finances, throwing yourself into work, but also not being able to stay a job for more than a year or two, anxiety, withdrawing from society, and the list just kept getting longer. Understanding what these women were describing, I felt maybe it was time to seek out some help.

I called the MST coordinator at my local VA Hospital, who listened, reassured me I wasn’t crazy, and then got me in touch with a Counselor at the local Vet Center.

Honestly, this was the second best call I ever picked up (the first was from the love of my life). I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I got more than I could have imagined. I got my life back – I still have a ways to go, but for the first time since the day before getting on the bus to boot camp, I feel good about myself. After several months of individual counseling, I am starting in a women’s group. Its brand-new and I can’t tell you how excited I am about being a part of a group of women who have similar experiences.

And here’s a similar story about another woman veteran who had difficulties after leaving the military and found a place to begin healing in her local vet center.

Even if you are feeling great, you should check out your local vet center. There are a ton of services that are strictly confidential and free of cost.

Find a location near you

Find out more about Vet Centers

Vet Centers across the country provide a broad range of counseling, outreach, and referral services to combat Veterans and their families. Vet Centers guide Veterans and their families through many of the major adjustments in lifestyle that often occur after a Veteran returns from combat. Services for a Veteran may include individual and group counseling in areas such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), alcohol and drug assessment, and suicide prevention referrals.

This article was written by: Rachel Baker – Click to follow on Twitter; or you can follow her writing in one place at The Crafty Veteran on Bloglovin

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