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New Year’s Resolution-PTSD

January 3, 2013

I’ve been seeing several PTSD commercials on television lately.  I’m assuming that for the immediate to near future PTSD will be in the news and on the lips of many people as we start to realize just how serious War is and the effects it has on those who have been asked to the fighting and killing on behalf of the Country.  I am currently volunteering my time with the Veterans Administration.  I am working in a new program called Peer Mentor (Navigator).  The concept of the Peer Mentor is to help the PTSD veterans who are seeking help.  If you haven’t yet started the VA process, I will admit that it can be a bit daunting.

First you need to admit or are willing to seek help.  This help is not relegated to PTSD alone but it could also be other Health Issues.  It could be for Housing, Jobs or Education of any number of other things for which a returning Veteran may need assistance.  Each of these service requires that the Veteran make an appointment, go to one of the Service stations, and see a counselor.

In the office that I am working there are about 8 of these counselors.  These counselors will start a file for you.  This entails a number of forms that need to be filled out so that your case can be followed and tracked.  A series of questions are asked by the counselors and in some cases where additional help other than Health Issue are indicated, the Veteran will be forwarded to a Social Worker.  In our office there are 2 of these Social Workers who wil ask more questions so that various other services may be recommended like Housing, Jobs and/or concerns about PTSD Issue.

From there, the Veterans was transferred to either a Housing or Jobs specialist who will work to try and get these workers lined up for low income housing or jobs.  The Peer Mentor Grant that has been awarded to my office is for the Veteran to be assigned also to a Peer Mentor who will be available to the Veteran to help him/her through lots of the Red Tape and delays that can occur by not following through promptly.  With a Peer the veteran has someone that they can confide in, seek assistance from, and in general help to successfully navigate through the hoops that everyone is asked to jump through.  Though I am new I can see where having someone for help is a good thing.

My New Year’s Resolution is to provide help in any way that I can.  To not only make the Peer program a success but to help Veterans get the help that they deserve.