County Launches Web Site to Help Veterans and Their Families

The County Health and Human Services Agency and military officials today are launching a new Web site to help veterans and their families access mental health counseling, emergency housing, and employment assistance.

The Network of Care for Veterans & Service Members is a state-of-the-art site that serves as a one-stop-shop for veterans, National Guard, reservists, active duty personnel, and their families to learn about services and organizations that can help them.

The site is being announced this afternoon during an event at the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center in Balboa Park, attended by Supervisor Bill Horn, HHSA Director Nick Macchione and Director of HHSA's Mental Health Services Alfredo Aguirre.

Over the next two years, about 1.5 million veterans from across the country are expected to return home. A recent study conducted by the Rand Corporation found that about 300,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans report suffering from major depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Only about half of those sought help.

Fear of rejection and discrimination often prevents people with a mental illness from accessing needed mental health services.

One out of every five Americans is diagnosed with a mental disorder every year. A mental illness is a disease that causes mild to severe disturbances in thought and/or behavior, resulting in an inability to cope with life’s ordinary demands and routines.

Information on the Network of Care for Veterans & Service Members Web site is offered in 11 languages. People suffering from a mental illness can access services by calling the County’s 24-hour, multi-lingual Access and Crisis Line at (800) 479-3339.