Vet Centers making a difference

Vet Centers are community-based facilities with VA programs that provide readjustment counseling to veterans who have served in combat, or who have been victims of military sexual trauma or harassment. All services are free and also available to spouses and children of veterans.

Vet Centers provide a wide range of services that include individual, group, marriage, family and bereavement counseling. They also refer veterans to other services when appropriate, and can help with problems concerning a veteran's discharge status.

Veterans are not required to be enrolled in VA health care in order to get Vet Center services.

In 1979, the Vet Center program was created as a support service where Vietnam War combat veterans could gather together. The idea of "veterans helping veterans" still holds true today: more than 70 percent of Vet Center staffers are veterans (most of them with combat experience).

Confidentiality practices at Vet Centers are strict; with very few exceptions, third parties (including VA) cannot gain access to a veteran's personal information - such as notes taken during counseling sessions - without his or her written consent.

To find the nearest Vet Center, click here or call (877) 927-8387.