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Q: I have used VA health care for flu shots and general physical exams. I am experiencing some mental/emotional issues due to problems in my personal life. Does the VA offer care for mental health? How do I access those services?

A: Veterans enrolled in Department of Veterans Affairs health care can receive high quality mental health services, including inpatient and outpatient care, for depression, readjustment, substance use disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, military sexual trauma and more. Visit the Veterans’ Mental Health Services and Coverage webpage. A crisis line at 800-273-8255 is available 24/7 for veterans who are in a crisis mental state or who may be suicidal.

Q: My daughter is leaving the Army after successfully completing her three-year enlistment. What does the VA offer to service members who are leaving the military and entering the civilian life and job market?

A: In coordination with the U.S. Department of Defense and Labor, the VA provides comprehensive support through the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) to help service member’s transition to civilian life. The service member will go through Transition GPS (Goals, Plans, Success), a series of modules that will help the service member pursue post-service goals and develop an individual transition plan. Information about benefits and resources like career guidance, training, counseling and more are available. Additionally, VA benefits briefings are mandatory for all transitioning and retiring active duty service members and for all demobilizing members of the National Guard and Reserves. Service members will learn about VA benefits and services, such as education and training assistance, employment services, life insurance, memorial and survivor benefits, home loans, health care, and disability compensation. There are debriefing activities for those service members who are separating from active duty or Guard/Reserve deployments from combat zones.

Did you know?

The 20th anniversary of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial is Oct. 20-22. This memorial is located at the entrance to the Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. The Memorial includes a museum that houses the stories of women who served in the military throughout our history.

Lt. Col. Jill Henry, U.S. Army (retired), a local Veteran, was recently appointed as the Central Illinois Ambassador for the Women in Military Service for America Foundation. Register at www.womensmemorial.org or call 703-533-1155. LTC Henry can be reached at wimsa.amb.il1@gmail.com or at 309-826-8003.

Did you know?

The Illinois Armed Forces Legal Aid Network (AFLAN) offers free legal advice to active duty, veterans, National Guard and qualified spouses or dependents. There is a financial “means” test for eligibility.

Event

A “Stand Down” for homeless veterans will be Oct. 7 at Dozer Park, 703 S. Jefferson, Peoria, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A hot lunch will be provided.

Activities and features include haircuts, showers, clean clothes/winter supplies, veteran service organizations, VA benefits counseling/referral, HIV/STD testing, housing information, community agencies serving veterans and workshops/presentations. Veteran must bring proof of veteran status (DD214, VA Id Card).

Event

The free Veteran’s Small Business Roadshow, sponsored by the Veterans Business Outreach Center in Illinois, comes to Illinois Wesleyan University on Sept. 28 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Minor Myers Jr. Welcome Center Auditorium, 1211 Park St., Bloomington.

Happy birthday!

The U.S. Air Force celebrated its 70th birthday on Sept. 18. Born out of the Army Air Corps at the end of World War II, the Air Force is an important part of our country’s readiness to defend our freedom and way of life. Take time to remember and honor those who served in the Army Air Corps and the U.S. Air Force.

Veterans Corner publishes Monday. It is written by the McLean County Veterans Assistance Commission, 200 W. Front St., Bloomington, IL 61701; call 309-888-5140.

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