New Article on Veterans Programs and Mental Illness in USA Today

USA Today has once again published a review of programs for our veterans. As I share their article (which I have sourced below) notice how it becomes glaringly apparent how complex the issues are. While there are plenty of programs available to vets, still we seem not to have found the most comprehensive and effective treatment plan to address key issues veterans face.

Complex issues are difficult to diagnose

Veterans are returning home with significant unmet mental health needs.
Veterans are returning home with significant unmet mental health needs.

Though we have spent millions toward this effort, it seems we are no closer to managing the magnitude of the mental health and PTSD problem. Though veterans may face some mental health issues which are extremely hard to diagnose and deal with in a systematic way, I think a key to make such a program successful is to get veterans involved as they understand the real issues. 

However, I am in favor of veterans getting involved to assist other veterans as long as they are fully trained and given the information they need to help each other. Although a veterans-helping-veterans program may not bring clinical sophistication to the needs of veterans, it has better potential to engage them in a process that will at least provide a sense of genuine support. But such a program has to be ongoing, relational and meaningful to our veterans.

The American Veterans Tribute Organization helps

I am extremely supportive of the initiative launched by the American Veterans Tribute Organization ( and have been working with them to design a veterans-helping-veterans program using Lakeside’s vast information on trauma, emotional health, relational health, parenting and other pertinent information.

We are looking for the right corporate sponsor

We are looking for the right corporate sponsor to work with us toward helping veterans. With Lakeside’s proven history of training professionals to serve vulnerable populations and communities, and the groundwork of AVT, the foundation is laid.

This initiative will be to assist us in the development and implementation of a pilot program to train veterans to help their peers in a virtual group program (online) that can reach into every home via a digital device and computer. This accessibility is so important and the trust is essential to build.

The program has yet to be tested, but we believe it can be a significant addition to providing help for the serious problems veterans face. (You can learn about Lakeside’s success with trauma-informed individuals, too.)

There are no easy answers.

We are investing millions and getting less than stellar results. I believe there are ways to meet their needs and it is vital that we continue to try with programs that we know have had success. I applaud all those who are trying and I hope our veterans can one day get the help they vitally need.

Here is the USA article.

Thanks for reading Lakeside Connect.

Gerry Vassar, President/CEO, Lakeside Educational Network

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