What Can I Do to Help?

On most campuses, the Office of Student Affairs has staff members who are involved with the delivery of student health services, including those working in counseling services, disability services, career planning, student organizations, and new student orientation. It is not uncommon for these staff members to be involved with trainings for the campus community as well. In addition to the materials presented here, consider the resources section of this toolkit.

Counseling and Health Center Staff

Research from the Center for Collegiate Mental Health* indicates that student Veterans are under-represented in campus counseling centers. Possible reasons for this include concerns about stigma, as well as the availability of treatments in the VA. Counseling center staff may find the following resources helpful in working with student Veterans.

Resources for Counseling and Health Center Staff

The Center for Deployment Psychology facilitates behavioral health training for civilian providers in various locations throughout the year.

Staff Sergeant Krause did not recognize her need for counseling until others pointed it out. This 5 minute video clip on the Profile of Staff Sgt. Megan Krause (Video)* encourages others to get help.

Staff Sergeant Hopper realized that he too needed treatment. Overcoming internalized stigma and attending psychological treatment helped him to return to being a productive Marine. This 5 minute video clip on the Profile of Staff Sgt.
Josh Hopper (Video)* recognizes the benefits of getting help.

Campus health care providers and counseling staff may want to consider screening for PTSD.

• The Primary Care PTSD screen is a four item screen that can be used as an initial screen for PTSD symptoms. It can help to identify students who may benefit from additional assessment.

• The PTSD Checklist is a 17 item self-report measure that can be used to assess symptom severity and response to treatment. More information about the PCL can be found by clicking on the link below.

The VA Community Provider Toolkit site features key tools to support the mental health services you provide to Veterans. You can find information on connecting with VA, understanding military culture and experience, as well as tools for working with a variety of mental health conditions.

The VA is a large health care system with many different kinds of health care providers and services. For student Veterans who are ambivalent about seeking care at the VA, this 4 minute video shows a Veteran visiting a VA Medical Center for the first time.

The VA offer many services and programs for returning Veterans with PTSD. A list of services and a VA Program locator can be found here:

The VA provides two evidence-based treatments for PTSD: Cognitive Processing Therapy and Prolonged Exposure. For more information on treatments for PTSD, including a handout for Veterans, visit the National Center for PTSD website. The VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guidelines provides a comprehensive review of PTSD treatments.

Consider obtaining continuing education units by learning more about PTSD. The NC-PTSD offers an array of free online courses.

Occasionally, presentations on PTSD in students will be provided at conferences sponsored by professional organizations, like the American College Health
Association* and the American College Counseling Association*.

Subscribe to a bimonthly email with summaries of clinically-relevant research in the trauma field. Publications on other topics are included if the content has significant clinical implications. The Iraq War Clinician guide was developed for clinicians to address the unique needs of Veterans of the current wars.

There are a growing number of websites and mobile apps for Veterans with adjustment and mental health issues. Check the additional online resources for managing distress in this toolkit

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Disability Resource Center (DRC) Staff

The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights: Disability
Discrimination* (OCR) is responsible for ensuring that all students have equal educational opportunities with regard to race, national origin, age, sex, and disability. Veterans with disabilities are among those protected by these laws. You will find a few resources especially geared toward DRC staff below.

Resources Focused Toward DRC Staff

The American Council on Education, in collaboration with the Association on Higher Education and Disability, the Kresge Foundation, and America's Heroes at Work, have generated tips for helping campus faculty and staff accommodate student Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and PTSD.

The OCR has developed a comprehensive handout on the types of accommodations that may be helpful for returning Service Members.

Disability compensation is available to student Veterans who were disabled as a result of active duty. If a student Veteran has a "service-connected" disability, and they would benefit from accommodations, he or she should be encouraged to register with the DRC on campus. If they are not already service-connected, they should fill out VA Form 21-526, Veterans Application for Compensation and/or
Pension (PDF). They will need to include the following materials with their application:

  • Discharge or separation papers (DD214 or equivalent*)
  • Dependency records (marriage and children's birth certificates)
  • Medical evidence (doctor and hospital reports)

The Disability, Opportunities, Internetworking and Technology (DO-IT) center at the University of Washington, provides helpful resources on accommodations for student Veterans. Included in their material is a 15 minute video on "Returning from Service: College and IT careers for Veterans."

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Career Center Staff

Four staff members sitting around a table.The National Association of Colleges and Employers* (NACE) connects over 5,200 college career services professionals at nearly 2,000 colleges and universities, as well as more than 3,000 HR/staffing professionals focused on college relations and recruiting.

The VA has a program to help Service Members, Veterans and their family members make a seamless transition into civilian careers post-military service.

The Veterans Employment Toolkit provides employers and human resource professionals’ information on what veterans bring to the work force. There are also employment resources for Veterans and their family members.

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