Mobile veteran’s counseling center to stop in Frisco to help local combat veterans
Combat veterans have seen and experienced things that civilians can’t even imagine. It takes a certain type of person to fight for their country, and it takes a certain type of professional to heal their minds when they come back home.
Summit County is endeavoring to bridge the gap between combat vets and counselors with a “mobile vet center,” which will station itself in Frisco once a month beginning in March.
Mobile vet centers were created as a way to bring the specialized counseling services that vets need to remote parts of the state like Summit, where such veteran services are not usually available. The centers provide a range of social and psychological services. That includes professional readjustment counseling, which helps veterans who have experienced trauma while serving make a successful transition to civilian life.
“We don’t have local counseling services specifically for veterans, and if they need those kind of services they usually need to go down to Denver or Grand Junction,” said Janet Wolfson, economic security programs manager for Summit County’s Human Services department. “The mobile vet center brings the counseling services to the veterans who need them.”
Wolfson said that the mobile center may also encourage combat veterans to seek services if they have been reluctant in the past.
“Veterans don’t always reach out for these kinds of services because they don’t always feel typical counselors will understand their needs based on their unique experiences,” Wolfson said. “Having the ability to connect veterans with counselors who understand their combat or military experience is very important.”
The mobile vet center comes in the form of a modified Winnebago with several rooms inside. It serves as an office where veterans can be screened, treated or referred to a specialist for a variety of conditions, including PTSD, depression, substance use disorders, sleep disorders and traumatic brain injuries. Once screened, veterans can be connected to specialized counselors with a secure video tele-health service.
“Tele-health can be much easier, as it allows veterans to express what is going on while maintaining their personal space,” said Duane Daily, veterans service officer for Grand and Summit counties. “It’s very successful and lets veterans open up in a safe, comfortable atmosphere.”
The mobile vet center will be parked and open to serve veterans once a month at the eastern parking lot of the Summit County Medical Office Building located at 360 Peak One Drive in Frisco. The center was expected to serve Summit veterans for the first time this month, but due to a scheduling issue the center will make its first visit in March at a date to be determined later.
However, Wolfson said that the person who runs the unit will be in Frisco this upcoming Tuesday, Feb. 19 in suite 230 of the Summit County Medical Office Building. There, veterans will be able to be pre-screened for services and set up appointments to be seen in the mobile vet center when it comes to Frisco next month.
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