Vet Centers are community-based counseling centers, providing social and psychological services including professional readjustment counseling to eligible Veterans and active duty service members, to include members of the National Guard and Reserve components and their families.
Vet Centers also play a significant role in VA’s Emergency Response mission to assist communities. MVCs and Vet Center staff deploy in response to shootings and support emergency response efforts to natural disasters and wild fires.
Who is eligible?
Veterans and active duty service members who:
* Have served on active military duty in any combat theater or area of hostility;
* Experienced a military sexual trauma (MST)
* Provided direct emergent medical care or mortuary services to the casualties of war, while serving on active duty, or
* Served as a member of an unmanned aerial vehicle crew that provided direct support to operations in a combat zone or area of hostility
* Vietnam Era Veterans who accessed care at a Vet Center prior to January 1, 2004.
Vet Center services are also provided to family members or loved ones of Veterans and service members for military-related issues when it is found to aid in the readjustment of those that served, or to help cope with the deployment of the service member. This includes marriage and family counseling and bereavement counseling for families who experience an active duty death.
What makes Vet Centers unique?
Non-traditional hours (including evenings and weekends), services without time limitation and at no charge. Individuals do not need to be enrolled in VA Healthcare Services, do not need a disability rating or service connection and can access Vet Center services regardless of discharge character.
What makes Vet Centers different than VA’s Mental Health?
While Vet Centers are not a part Mental Health in the VAMCs, they are connected through coordination and bi-directional referral. Vet Center staff are licensed professionals who offer a non-medical approach to counseling and do not provide medication management.
How do Vet Centers reach Veterans and service members?
Outreach specialists and counselors participate in a myriad of outreach events in local communities and host various events in order to create face to face connections and get eligible individuals connected to Vet Center Services.
80 Mobile Vet Centers are on the road or out in the community, extending the reach of Vet Centers through focused outreach, direct service provision and referral. Many of these communities are distant from existing services and are considered rural or highly rural.
How can I refer someone to a Vet Center for services?
If you think someone may benefit from Vet Center services, please call your nearest Vet Center or encourage the Veteran or service member to call or stop in.