According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), nearly 33% of servicemen and servicewomen who have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan will experience mental health issues.
To meet the needs of these returning veterans WellSpring Resources has four counselors certified to treat veterans—and their families—with behavioral health issues. Several more counselors are currently working towards this certificate and many are expected to finish the program before the end of the year. Community contributions to support this training totaled $1,000 – and will support the treatment of veterans experiencing mental illness, substance abuse problems or homelessness.
The training process helps counselors to understand military language, culture, and experiences so that veterans do not feel further isolated while in treatment. Counselors receive their Serving Our Veterans Behavioral Health Certificate after completing a curriculum of 14 courses. The curriculum is based on guidelines developed by the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs for treating conditions such as posttraumatic stress disorder, trauma, addiction and depression.
“I think the training was very helpful and insightful. I do a lot with PTSD and learning more about the military is very important,” said Kristi Lemley, a therapist at WellSpring Resources. “It also makes you think about the lives affected when someone is in the military; not just the person enlisted, but spouses, children, parents and other family members. They need support as well.” WellSpring Resources is part of TriCare and Military OneSource health benefit programs for veterans.
Treating mental illness helps veterans get back to living healthy, productive lives and saves the nation money. According to a report released by the National Council for Behavioral Health, every dollar invested in evidence-based care for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans experiencing mental illness results in $2.50 in savings over two years. Additionally, the National Council predicts that if all the untreated veterans with PTSD and/or major depression (which is about 210,000 veterans) received effective treatment, the investment of about $481 million would equal out to more than $1.2 billion in savings.
If you are or you know a veteran who is experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress syndrome, trauma, addiction, depression, or who is homeless call WellSpring Resources at (618) 462-2331 for more information or to become enrolled in services.
Founded in 1959, WellSpring Resources is a total mental wellness resource serving Madison, Jersey, and Calhoun counties. With offices in Alton and Jerseyville WellSpring’s compassionate professionals work with children, adults and families to inspire hope and personal growth. Last year, 4,600 people sought to change their lives for the better through WellSpring’s behavioral health and substance abuse services. Visit www.wellspringresources.co for more information.