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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 617-327-6777 x1419. For Admissions information about our graduate programs, please email email@example.com or call 617-564-9376.