In the article, “Our Opportunity to Serve Veterans,” Kathryn Power, M.Ed., Regional Administrator and Lead, Strategic Priority for Military Service Members, Veterans and their Families, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) calls on community providers to become educated about the needs of our Veterans and their families.  Ms. Power writes, “There is a misconception that Veterans are only served through closed systems, and that the civilian community does not have the opportunity to interact with the Veteran population,” and, “only about 40% of people eligible for healthcare services are actually using Veterans Administration (VA) services, many of whom have behavioral health needs that have not been addressed.” Ms. Power encourages providers to learn about the prevalence of certain conditions in this population, to become knowledgeable about the experiences and demands of being in the military, and to increase their understanding of the military system, language, and culture. This training will assist community providers in meeting the behavioral health needs of Veterans seeking services outside the VA, those who are ineligible due to dishonorable discharges, or their family members.

Behavioral health providers in North Carolina who wish to increase their military cultural competencies can visit the North Carolina Focus on Servicemembers, Veterans, and Their Families website for a list of trainings to assist with this.

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