The Vet Center Program was established by Congress in 1979 out of recognition that a significant number of Vietnam-era veterans were experiencing readjustment problems after returning to civilian life.
Vet Centers are community-based and are part of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Congress later extended this service to those who served during any war period, from World War II to our current conflicts.
The goal of the Vet Center program is to provide a broad range of counseling, outreach and referral services to eligible veterans in order to help them make a satisfying post-war readjustment to civilian life. The Vet Center staff members respect the privacy of all veterans and holds in strictest confidence all information disclosed in the counseling process. Family members of combat veterans have been eligible for Vet Center readjustment counseling services for military-related issues since 1979.
What is readjustment counseling?
Readjustment counseling is a wide range of services provided to combat veterans in an effort to assist them in making a satisfying transition from military to civilian life. Services include: individual counseling; group counseling; marital and family counseling; bereavement counseling; military sexual-trauma counseling and referral; employment counseling and guidance; medical referrals; alcohol and drug assessments; assistance in applying for Veterans Affairs benefits; and information and referral to community resources, outreach and community education.
Military sexual-trauma counseling may include individual or group counseling, marital and family counseling, referral for benefits assistance, liaison with community agencies, and/or substance abuse information and referral to help veterans deal with the emotions of military sexual trauma and to regain confidence in their everyday life.
Durango will soon have a caregivers (family) group and a women veterans group, as well as a support group for spouses and parents of veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Anyone who is interested in any of these groups is encouraged to call Michelle at (505) 327-9684 to ensure they are appropriate for the group. These group meetings will be held at the Durango Public Library in the near future. For more information, contact the Farmington Vet Center at 4251 E. Main, St. Ste. A, Farmington, NM 87402, (505) 327-9684.
Richard Schleeter is the veterans service officer for the La Plata County Veterans Service Office. He can be reached at 759-0117 or firstname.lastname@example.org.