Outreach to Student Veterans progresses with new services this semester

Peer+counselors+discuss+some+of+the+new+services+that+will+be+available+to+student+veterans+this+semester+during+a+meeting+at+an+open+house+event+on+Aug.+29.+Torrey+Spoerer%2C+City+Times.

Peer counselors discuss some of the new services that will be available to student veterans this semester during a meeting at an open house event on Aug. 29. Torrey Spoerer, City Times.

Torrey Spoerer

If you’re a veteran student at City College who is seeking available services and group support, you are not alone. In fact, you are one of many.

The Veterans Support Network is a new program of the Mental Health Counseling Center, made possible by a grant from the Wounded Warrior Project and includes 10 Veteran Peer Mentors, a part-time therapist and a consulting psychiatrist.

The service center also provides veteran students a learning space with computer access, snacks and coffee, referrals to both on and off campus resources and a peaceful area for such students to meet others from similar backgrounds, therefore further building a stronger sense of community for our veterans.

The Veterans Service Center, located in room A-220, hosted an open house last Thursday to introduce the Veterans Support Network and their veteran peer mentors.

“One of the largest challenges we’ve faced, other than a constant lack of resources, is the outreach to veterans on campus,” said Alex, one of the 10 veteran peer counselors this semester.

“20 percent of City College students are veterans, and many of them either don’t know about these services available, or are afraid to seek any help due to the stigmas surrounding mental illnesses —- such as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) —- and military affiliations,” he said.

Through word of mouth and non-stop outreach, however, the team has managed to gain momentum and support over the past few semesters, which helps many of our veterans find much needed help and support during their college years.

The Veterans Service Center is open Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. and encourages all veterans to utilize their individual skills as active participants in the greater campus community.