“To provide aid to active duty and prior service members of the US Armed Forces and their families through short or long term social and behavioral health services at little or no cost.”
“To see every American Veteran enjoy the high quality of life with the honor afforded to them after selflessly serving this great nation.”
“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”
A 2012 National Council for Behavioral Health report, Meeting the Behavioral Health Needs of Veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, shows that of the 2.4 million active duty and reserves who were deployed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001, almost 30% (730,000 men and women) will have a mental health condition. More than 18% will suffer from PTSD, major depression or a combination of both disorders. A 2008 Department of Defense Health Behavior Survey reports increase in prescription drug abuse and heavy alcohol use with one post-deployment study showing that 27% of veterans met criteria for alcohol abuse.
Less than half of returning veterans needing mental health and addiction treatment services receive any treatment. Of those receiving treatment for PTSD and major depression, only 30% are receiving evidence-based care. Untreated mental and addiction disorders wreak havoc on the lives of veterans. One in three homeless men are veterans, and almost 60% of homeless veterans are minorities. The unemployment rate for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan is some 40% greater than that of the general population.
Today civilian practitioners are on the frontlines of our veterans’ battlefield back home as more returning veterans and their families are seeking mental health and addiction treatment services outside the VA — in their own communities.