Serving our College Veterans in a Holistic Manner

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1 Serving our College Veterans in a Holistic Manner NANCY L. MONTGOMERY RN, MSN, DIRECTOR HEALTH, WELLNESS & VETERANS, IRVINE VALLEY COLLEGE ERIC GARCIA, MS, VETERAN ACADEMIC COUNSELOR, COASTLINE COLLEGE

2 What is our veteran population 48 million American have served in the military during war and peace since There are 21.8 million veterans in the United States today million are male veterans/1.6 million are female veterans. Of the 21.8 vets more than 1.3 million served during multiple wars. CA has 2.5 million vets, Texas 1.6 million, Florida 1.6 million. 26% of vets 25 and older have at least a BA degree. 2.6 million troops have served or are serving in the 2 theaters of operation since the beginning of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Va.gov, publichealth.va.gov, U.S.census bureau

3 Troops return home with what issues? Most frequented diagnoses upon return are musculoskeletal ailments and mental health issues % return with PTSD and TBI. Rates of PTSD are greater for these wars than prior conflicts. Veterans do not disclose or self identify medical or mental health needs unless there is an incident they live silent in their suffering. 1,819,913 separated OEF/OIF/OND veterans have become eligible for VA Health Care since Yet only 657,116 Active Duty and 432,5523 Reserve/National Guard have obtained VA health care (cumulative total). More active duty personnel die by own hand than combat in Veteransrandreport 2012, publichealth.va.gov 2014

4 Intake Information and why? Intake is the process by where you find out all information that most do not divulge. Vital to assessment and developing your program. Changes each semester. Know your demographics. Use for monetary allocations. Use for your knowledge on what to provide for your veterans. Just because

5 How do I assess? INTAKE SHEET Print Name: Last First Student I.D. # Branch of Service: Discharge Date: Preferred (for appointments) Student Status: New Student Returning Student Reason for Visit: VA Education Benefits Priority Registration Appointment Are you interested in information about (check any that apply): Financial Aid Free Books Food Sources Vocational Rehabilitation Free Tutoring Housing Disability Claims Personal Counseling Legal Aid Do you have health insurance? NO Yes Do you have a disability rating with the VA? NO

6 Plan of Action Where do I send student in need? What services do I have on campus? What resources have we built? Collaborating Partners? How do I contact the VA in my area? Do you know there is a Suicide Coordinator who will come to your site and teach prevention and intervention? Suicide is PREVENTABLE!!! What services do the outside partners and the VA offer? Help me!!!!

7 Case Management of Veterans Don t expect the veteran student to call the number you gave them. Do follow up and ask what the outcome was with the referral you gave them. Ask those vital and difficult questions: 1. Do you have a place to live? 2. Do you have food? 3. Are you safe? 4. Do you have depression or Suicidal thoughts?

8 Data Collection Complete a survey each and every year at your college. Ask your Research Dept. to query the number of veterans who checked the box that they are military and or veteran. Keep your own data within your VRC regarding who comes in, tutoring needs, health care needs, mental health needs, who and what you send veterans to who need services and document number counts. Monitor the costs of your VRC and what you could use such as Tutoring Services in the VRC, a mental wellness counselor, a health educator, EDD, Voc Rehab person, disability certification specialist all to come on site in your one-stop.

9 Survey Results SURVEY RESULTS It is imperative that we continue building services for the Veterans Center and adding outside agencies and collaborating with veteran agencies to provide housing, food and medical services for our veterans to be successful. An IVC veteran anonymous survey was given early Spring 2014 utilizing a survey developed by Cal State Long Beach veteran staff and reformatted by our director to use at the two year institutions with added medical/mental health questions. There were 71 on-line (via our IVC research department) surveys completed resulting in the following demographics and issues of our IVC veteran population: 85% are veterans, 7% National guard, 3% Active military, 6% Active Reserve 24% Army, 39% Marine, 21% Navy, 11% Air Force, 4% Coast Guard, 6% National Guard, 1% Activated Reservist 78% served 1-8 years in the military 52% are 31 years or over 80% are male Other important issues surveyed were: 68% served in a combat zone or were deployed 87% served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom 60% Suffered an illness or injury as a result of service 75% are receiving treatment for medical conditions 85% have never received assistance from IVC Disabled Students Program 65% are aware of a fellow veteran who has experienced or expressed concerns about depression 59% expressed concerns with Anxiety 38% expressed concerns with Depression 28% expressed concerns about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 55% expressed concerns about employment 62% expressed concerns with financial obligations 40% expressed concerns about relationships 13% have had suicidal thoughts 4% have attempted suicide 8% do not have housing so are essentially homeless now 36% expressed concerns about healthcare for self or family 42% utilize the Veterans Administration for their primary health insurance

10 So what next?? If you don t have data collect it. If you don t have services start them on site. If you need money keep data and prove your need. Assess each and every veteran for all issues regarding health, money, financial, family, food, housing and most of all mental health. Work with Cal Fresh, the EDD, the VA and get a collaborating group together to assist you in all the needs of your veteran population. Make sure every veteran is enrolled in health care benefits. Most of all show you care.

11 Conclusion and Questions A great leader once stated: There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right Martin Luther King Jr. who stood up for those who were underserved. How do we do this??? One by One Thank you

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