As a veteran, you may have experienced or seen a lot of things during your time in the military which might affect your long-term mental health. You may be having problems sleeping, readjusting to civilian life or controlling your anger. If you are experiencing some of the above struggles, you could be suffering from a mental health problem. The good news is that the VA offers mental health services to veterans who need support for numerous mental health problems.
The services include therapy, medication, counseling or a combination of these options. Even if you have not enrolled in VA medical services, you can still receive mental health services. However, you will be required to request your primary care provider to help you book an appointment with a VA mental health services provider. Below are some of the VA’s mental health services that you can utilize.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment programs
The VA offers more than 200 PTSD treatment programs to veterans in the United States. These include psychotherapy, family therapy, group therapy and mental health assessment and testing to check whether you have PTSD. The department also provides medicine that has been tested and proven to treat PTSD.
Veterans with PTSD can also receive regular inpatient and outpatient care services in the VA medical centers across the country. The inpatient care programs are mainly offered to veterans with severe PTSD symptoms that prevent them from performing normal daily activities.
Substance use treatment programs
Many veterans struggle with substance use, including illicit or illegal substances and misuse of legal drugs such as prescription drugs, alcohol, tobacco and nicotine. The VA has numerous substance use treatment programs that range from harmful legal medication use to life-threatening addiction.
The programs include proven medication options, counseling and therapy options. To access substance use treatment services, you must first apply for VA health care. After registering, your VA primary care provider will help you get tested for substance use and other related problems like PTSD or depression.
Military sexual trauma (MST) treatment programs
If you are a veteran and you experienced any form of sexual assault or sexual harassment during military service, you can benefit from VA MST treatment programs. These services aim at helping you cope with how the sexual assault impacts your life.
You can receive most of these services with the help of your health care provider. Another way to access these services is to contact your nearest VA medical center and request to talk to the center MST coordinator. You can also call a Vet center and enquire about MST-related counseling.