Vets get more access to mental health care through new VA partnership

Jonathan Kaupanger
February 28, 2018 - 11:02 am

Photo by PA Images/Sipa USA

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There’s a new partnership at VA that gives veterans another way to access mental health care. As a way to help reduce veteran suicide, VA is partnering with the Cohen Veterans Network, Inc. (CVN).

“VA and CVN have a shared goal to improve veteran’s health and access to mental health services to reduce veteran suicide,” said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin. “With 14 out of the 20 veterans who take their own lives per day not engaging VA care, partnerships such as this help those veterans, as well as their families, receive care where they live.”

The priority for CVN is post-9/11 veterans and their family members. Since April 2016, close to 5,000 clients have sought help at one of the seven, Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinics across the country. 43 percent of the clients have been family members of veterans and a little more than 10 percent were veterans who left the military under other-than-honorable discharge status.

“This partnership will help us save lives by getting care to veterans faster and, therefore, preventing suicides,” said Dr. Anthony Hassan, president and CEO of CVN.  “We are excited about partnering with VA and advancing the field through innovative clinician training initiatives and public messaging. This partnership adds another layer of depth and quality to our robust network of Cohen Military Family Clinics.”   

All vets and their families are eligible for free treatment at the Cohen Military Family Clinics. In the future, there may be an insurance and low-cost co-payment structure that will be based on location and patient preference. This is to help support the long-term sustainability of the network as it expands.Three more clinics are schedule to open this year with another round of expansion planned for the end of the year.

You can find a Cohen Military Family clinic here

CVN doesn’t receive funding from the VA or DoD and won’t share any confidential patient information with VA.  For its part, VA will share educational resources for health care providers and CVN staff and clinic employees will recieve military culture training and suicide prevention training. This partnership allows VA and CVN to work together as they look for potential locations for future clinics in areas of the country that have underserved vets in need of mental health care. 

If you or a veteran you know is having thoughts of suicide, you can call the Veterans Crisis Line for confidential support at 800-273-8255 and press 1. You can chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat or text to 838255