by Janeil Esplin, VSO
Our agency is highlighting everyday superheroes this month. As a Veteran Service Officer (VSO), I want to draw attention to a small group of hard-working, caring individuals assisting Veterans who have served in warzones or areas of hostilities or combat.
The group I am highlighting, work at our local community Vet Center. The staff at the center provide a special environment where Veterans and their family members can receive a wide range of social and psychological services. Particularly, Veterans and their families have access to professional and supportive readjustment counseling, military sexual trauma counseling, and bereavement counseling for families that suffer with an active-duty death.
In addition to the services mentioned above, readjustment counseling can include:
• Family counseling for issues related to the readjustment of the Veteran,
• Group counseling,
• VA medical benefit referral,
• VA Benefit Administration benefits referral,
• Employment counseling, guidance, and referrals,
• Alcohol/ substance abuse assessments and referrals,
• Information and referral to community resources,
• Military sexual trauma counseling & referral (any era), and
• Outreach and Community education
This week I was working with a Vietnam Veteran. He expressed appreciation for the recent counseling guidance surrounding his PTSD issues.
This is what Jim had to say about his experience. “I am so glad I decided to go to the Vet Center and talk to Lisa. It was a positive experience to say the least. She helped me deal with some deep-rooted issues I hadn’t dealt with. I feel I am a better person thanks to the Vet Center and Lisa.”
A few extra notes about Vet Centers:
• PTSD presentation and treatment are offered.
• Services are not time limited. Services are no cost to the Veteran. These services have been prepaid through the military service the Veteran provided.
• Enrollment in VA Health Care is not required to use the Vet Center services.
• Veterans do not need to have a disability rating for injuries to use the Vet Center services.
I am impressed with the staff respect and assistance to Veterans I refer. They determinedly work to meet individual needs. If you or someone you know, who was a wartime Veteran or hostile/combat area Veteran, wants help with any of the life challenges listed above, tell them about the Vet Center.
1664 So Dixie Dr. Ste C-102
St. George, UT 84770
“keeping the promise”
Janeil Esplin is a licensed social service worker with a BS degree in Psychology.
As AAA-Five County expanded in 2016 to include direct service to military Veterans she gained Veteran Service Officer accreditation from the Utah Department of Veteran and Military Affairs. Specifically she specializes assisting 60+ year old veterans and veteran surviving spouses navigate the VA health and benefit programs.