Readjustment counseling is provided at Vet Centers to help veterans resolve war-related psychological traumas and to help them achieve a successful postwar readjustment to civilian life. Vet Centers, which came to life as result of aggressive American Legion lobbying on behalf of veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and others having difficulty with readjustment, are located in local communities close to the veterans they serve. Assistance typically includes readjustment counseling, spouse/significant other counseling, alcohol/drug abuse counseling and referral, employment assistance, psychological services, benefits counseling referral and homeless veteran assistance. Counseling also is provided to all veterans who have experienced sexual trauma (sexual assault or harassment) while on active duty. In addition to counseling, the Vet Centers provide extensive community outreach and brokering of services for veterans. If you, or a family member, served in any combat zone and received a military campaign ribbon (Vietnam, Southwest Asia, OEF, OIF, etc.) then both you and your family are eligible for Vet Center services.
To locate a contract provider, contact the nearest Vet Center. Vet Centers are listed in the white pages, blue pages and on the web at www.va.gov/rcs.
VA has recently added 50 mobile vet centers to the Vet Center program to provide outreach and direct readjustment counseling at active-duty, reserves and National Guard activities, including post deployment health reassessments for returning combat service members. The vehicles will also be used to visit events typically staffed by local Vet Center staff, including homeless "stand downs," veteran community events, county fairs, and unit reunions at sites ranging from Native American reservations to colleges. At their discretion local managers may arrange with VA hospitals or clinics in the respective region to provide occasional support for health promotion activities such as health screenings. The normal counseling layout can be converted to support emergency medical missions, such as, hurricanes and other natural disasters.