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Veterans Behavioral Health

Overview

One in four Oregon veterans experience frustration in seeking care for mental health or substance use issues, according to a survey completed by more than 4,000 veterans.

Oregon is committed to helping veterans access the tools and supports they need to thrive.

The Oregon Legislature invested $3.1 million over two biennia toward veterans behavioral health. 

Program contact: Emily Watson

 

Addressing the needs of Oregon veterans

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs (ODVA) commissioned a needs assessment study to identify challenges and opportunities for reforms. Produced by the Rede Group, the Oregon Veterans Behavioral Health Services Improvement Study:

  • Describes the availability of behavioral health services for Oregon veterans;
  • Provides findings regarding barriers veterans face in accessing behavioral health services; and
  • Recommends policy and other changes that may improve the accessibility and quality of behavioral health services for Oregon veterans.

The recommendations include proposed steps to strengthen services and outreach for veterans, including:

  • Reduce stigma about behavioral health issues to help more veterans feel comfortable seeking care.
  • Strengthen suicide prevention programs.
  • Improve care coordination for veterans and tailor services to better address the experiences those who have served in the military have faced.
  • Expand the number of peer specialists who have their own first-hand knowledge of veterans issues and can provide effective support.
  • Recruit more treatment providers to serve veterans.

View the study report (193 pages, PDF)  View the report highlights (PDF) View the study findings (PDF)

Links

Memorial Day Resources 

Resources 

  • Federal Veterans Affairs website - Mental health support services
  • ODVA website - Veteran services in Oregon
  • Make the Connection - MakeTheConnection.net is an online resource designed to connect Veterans, their family members and friends, and other supporters with information, resources, and solutions to issues affecting their lives.
  • Military Helpline - The Military Helpline is here with free and confidential crisis intervention and sensitivity to military-specific issues.  Staffed by veterans and others trained in military culture we understand what you’re going through and can help you sort things out privately. Whether it’s family issues, anger, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress or thoughts of suicide, call us. We won’t judge you and we’ll keep it to ourselves. 1-888-457-4838. There is hope. Call now, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Or you can text the Military Helpline any time between 8am-11pm PST daily by texting MIL1 to 839863.
  • Veterans Crisis Line - Connect with the Veterans Crisis Line to reach caring, qualified responders with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Many of them are Veterans themselves.  Call 1-800-273-8255 + Press 1, text 838255, or connect online to chat.  Call 1-800-799-4889 to access crisis line deaf and hard of hearing support.

2019 forum dates

OHA and ODVA gathered input from throughout Oregon regarding veterans behavioral health needs and services. Dates and locations are listed below.

Bend

Thursday, Aug. 8 

Astoria

Tuesday, Aug. 20

Coos Bay

Wednesday, Aug. 28

Eugene

Thursday, Aug. 29

Salem

Wednesday, Sep. 4

Klamath Falls

Wednesday, Sep. 11

Lakeview

Thursday, Sep. 12

Portland

Monday, Sep. 16

Tuesday, Sep. 17

Wednesday, Sep. 18

The Dalles

Tuesday, Sep. 24

Tillamook

Thursday, Sep. 26

St. Helens

Monday, Oct. 7

Pendleton

Tuesday, Oct. 8

Baker City

Wednesday, Oct. 9

Ontario

Thursday, Oct. 10

Medford

Wednesday, Oct. 16

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