Prompted by the anticipated return of local military currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano has prepared the Veteran Service Agency (VSA) to be ready with information about services and resources to assist veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The VSA has partnered with the Federal Department of Veterans Affairs, the Mental Health Association of Nassau County and the Veterans Health Alliance of Long Island to offer a variety of free services and programs for veterans suffering PTSD. Counselors at the VSA can help returning veterans fill out and submit claims to the Federal government for benefits due to those diagnosed with PTSD.
“With a large number of heroes returning from serving overseas, we must ensure that veterans have all the information they and their families need to access Nassau County’s programs and services as effortlessly as possible,” said County Executive Mangano. “Working in partnership with the VA, Nassau County’s Veteran Service Agency will serve our veterans with the same honor and respect they served our nation.”
According to mental health professionals, nearly one quarter of all veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or major depression. Approximately 70% or 4,175 veterans from Nassau and Suffolk counties have sought some type of assistance at the Northport VA Medical Center. Still, officials believe that not all veterans who may be in need of mental health services have reached out for assistance.
Statistics from the Northport VA indicate that since 2001, 5,272 veterans serving in Iraq or Afghanistan have been served. Some 313 have been diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and 934 have suffered from PTSD. An undocumented number are suffering from depression. The VA facility operates a special program for returning veterans suffering from PTSD.
Services for veterans who think they may be suffering from PTSD or related disorders are available at the following:
- 24/7 Veterans Suicide/Crisis hotline: 1-800-273-8255.
- Nassau County Veterans Services Agency. Veterans’ benefits counselor trained and certified in suicide awareness and prevention available to assist veterans 5 days a week 9:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Call (516) 572-6565. Or visit Building Q, behind NUMC. http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/veterans.
- Northport VA Medical Center www.Northport.VA.gov Vanessa Brown, Gulf Program Manager (631) 261-4400 x2173 Vanessa.Brown@va.gov
- Nassau County Veterans Treatment Court. Workers have been trained by the VHALI in Combat-Related PTSD; Cognitive Processing Therapy – for PTSD; and SAFETALK, a suicide prevention technique. Contact Rosemary Walker (516) 572-2563
- Mental Health Association of Nassau County provides veteran and family peer support groups, wellness Training and suicide prevention. Call Lauren Hagemann, (516) 489-2322 ext. 1260 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Veterans Affairs VET Center in Hicksville provides free counseling to Combat Veterans and families, of all generations. Call (516) 348-0088. 970 S Broadway.
- Veterans Health Alliance of Long Island, in conjunction with Nassau County Department of Mental Health and Chemical Dependency, provides substance abuse treatment and mental health services related to PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, military culture, issues of Older Veterans, Women Veterans, Military Sexual Trauma, Suicide Prevention and Homelessness. Call(516) 504-HELP.
PTSD counseling services are also available at the following facilities:
- Family and Children’s Association Veterans Resource Center, Hicksville (516) 935-6858
- Central Nassau Guidance (516) 822-6111
- Northport VA Medical Center (631) 261-4400
- Long Island Veterans Center (631) 661-3930
- Family Wellness Center at LIJ Hospital (516) 562-3260; No charge
- Peninsula Counseling Center (516) 569-6600; Tricare approved
- Liberty Home Land Support 1-800-990-3785; Tricare approved for veteran and family.
- Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN 3, New York/New Jersey) Family of Heroes: http://www.familyofheroes.com.
About the Nassau County Veterans Service Agency:
The Nassau County Veterans Services Agency (VSA), located in Building Q behind Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, is available to assist with filing claims for benefits through Federal and State agencies, filing Discharge, Separation Papers (DD-214), obtaining medals, medical and personnel records, discharge upgrading and referrals to other County, State and Federal agencies.