Vets' families to receive assistance
December 12, 2008
JEFFERSON CITY - The Ozark Center is one of 10 agencies that will take part in the Department of Mental Health's Help for the Home Front, a program that focuses on helping those who live with a veteran who has served in the [Bush's] Global War on Terror, according to an announcement by Gov. Matt Blunt. The department received $650,000 from the legislature and the governor in the 2009 fiscal year budget to develop the program.

The primary goal of HHF is to assist family members, such as spouses, children, parents and grandparents of veterans during their return from deployment. Veterans themselves are served by the Veterans Administration. However, veterans will be able to participate in any family or marital therapy with the family member through the HHF program.

"Oftentimes, family members are overlooked in dealing with the anxiety and other issues that occur with returning veterans," said Dr. Joe Parks, director of the Division of Comprehensive Psychiatric Services. "This program will provide resources and support for family members of returning veterans which will ease in the transition process."

The Department of Mental Health administrative agents in the areas of the state with the largest population of veteran families will provide outreach services anytime there is a suicide attempt or mental health crisis once they are notified by local veterans' contacts. Service providers will be trained in veteran and military family issues.

Additionally, there will be services offered to family members of killed or wounded veterans, and families experiencing transition issues once the veteran returns from deployment. Traditional services, such as individual or group counseling, will be provided to family members, adult or youth, where appropriate.

The other agencies participating are Pathways Community Behavioral Healthcare, Burrell Behavioral Health, Community Counseling, BJC Behavioral Health, Arthur Center, COMTREA Community Treatment, Crider Health Center, Family Guidance Center and Comprehensive Mental Health Services. For their addresses and phone number go here.

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