• Fastest Growing Job

    Employment of Organizational psychologists expected to grow by 53.4% by 2022 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • Experiential Education

    Develop Your Career in Psychology with our Experiential Education Model

  • Promising Career Outlook

    US News Ranks “Mental Health Counselor” #33 of top health care jobs

  • Latino Mental Health

    Less than 2% of the nation’s psychologists are trained to deliver language and culturally competent mental health care to Spanish speaking people.

Train Vets to Treat Vets®

In 2008, The Special Commission to Study and Investigate the Hidden Wounds of War on Massachusetts Service Members reported a high incidence of anxiety, depression, family disruption and brain injury suffered by veterans of recent conflicts and identified best practices for delivering mental health services to this population and their families. The report mirrored national studies on mental health access for veterans that concluded that, despite best efforts, veterans experience significant barriers in accessing high-quality mental health care.

In response to this critically growing need, in 2009 William James College applied for and was approved as an Institution of Higher Learning under the Yellow Ribbon Program of the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Through this program, we have begun to attract former service personnel and reservists who are interested in careers in mental health care; there are currently five Clinical Doctoral student-veterans studying at William James College.

In 2010, William James College issued a report to the Massachusetts Department of Veterans Services (DVS) on the effectiveness of creating a program of behavioral health career development for returning veterans, and in July of 2011, DVS awarded William James College a one-year contract for our new Train Vets to Treat Vets® initiative. The goals of this program, which was rolled out in August, are four-fold:

  1. To formalize and expand upon William James College's existing programming for and about veterans. William James College faculty and student-veterans are meeting monthly to review the professional literature and identify the elements of a model curriculum to train veterans to treat veterans and their families at the graduate level, as well as to address the special concerns student-veterans might face;
  2. To utilize current William James College student-veterans to reach out to and mentor returning military veterans who may have an interest in a career in behavioral health. Last year, William James College student veterans did outreach to 78 veterans, representing all branches of the military, about TVTV and other opportunities in the mental health field. Thirty-nine veterans subsequently inquired about William James College, and two have been accepted into our fall class.
  3. To expand direct services to at-risk and homeless veterans as part of our Field Education program. As an important component of this commitment, William James College has created two new field placement sites and supplied the required licensed mental health supervision; the sites are the Veterans Northeast Outreach Centers in Haverhill and the New England Center for Homeless Veterans in Boston. Last year, 11 William James College trainees provided clinical services to veterans in six different settings, providing 2,423 hours of service, including individual psychotherapy, group therapy, family therapy, and psychological testing.
  4. To develop a state-wide educational conference in collaboration with DVS, DMH and Veterans Inc. on the best practices in behavioral healthcare for veterans and their families to licensed practitioners in the state. On May 18, 2012, William James College presented a day-long training titled "Beyond Thank You For Your Service: Meeting the Needs of Returning Veterans and Their Families." This conference featured 12 presenters, and trained 53 area mental health clinicians.

The Train Vets to Treat Vets® program at William James College is already encouraging new veterans to consider a rewarding career in mental health care, dovetailing with the Obama administration's new initiatives to help create jobs for veterans. We are at work developing the most appropriate curriculum to educate graduate students on the needs of veterans, especially recent returnees, and we have already expanded the quality and quantity of mental health services available to the area veteran population.

Please consider helping to support this leading edge initiative!

With your help, we can provide additional, much-needed scholarship support to veterans who might not otherwise be able to enroll at William James College. We can expand our outreach efforts to potential student-veterans, as well as our direct mental health services to at-risk area vets. Your contribution to our timely Yellow Ribbon Fund is fully tax-deductible, and provides match funding towards our award from the Massachusetts Department of Veterans Services. 

For more information about Train Vets to Treat Vets, please contact Dr. Sonia Suri at sonia_suri@williamjames.edu or call 617-327-6777 x1419.  For Admissions information about our graduate programs, please email admissions@williamjames.edu or call 617-564-9376.

To make a donation to support this initiative, contact Ann Doyle at 617-564-9342 or email ann_doyle@williamjames.edu, or go to our contribution page.

Meet One of Our Students

Veteran Student Adam Freed