There has been increasing public attention to the growing need
for mental health services for veterans and their families.
Increases in the number and duration of deployments supporting
Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom
(OEF) in Afghanistan have resulted in significant traumatic
stresses for many of those deployed and in significant separation
stresses for family members affected by deployment. In
response to this need, the Center for Psychological Services, in
conjunction with the PARTNERS program, has formed the Military
Services Initiative (MSI) to provide appropriate therapeutic
supports for military servicemen and women and their families.
The Initiative provides assessment and therapy services at no
cost to those who present evidence of a current or past military
ID. Service providers include licensed faculty and graduate
students with particular expertise in understanding and treating
trauma and with a stated desire to use their expertise to help
military families. Support for the program has come in the
form of several grants from New York State’s Office of Mental
Health, which have been facilitated by local Assemblyman Rory
Lancman. Because of this support, the Center has been able to
acquire specialized hardware and software, enabling us to offer a
Virtual Reality treatment environment for those coping with the
symptoms of battlefield PTSD. As part of an exposure-based
treatment, these programs (i.e. Virtual Iraq, Virtual Afghanistan)
may benefitveterans who have returned from war experiences with
recurrent anxieties, nightmares, and coping difficulties.
In addition to Virtual Reality, the program offers supportive
counseling and therapy to veterans and their immediate
family members. Veterans from former conflicts (e.g. Vietnam
veterans) or those who were never deployed are welcome and
qualify for the free services. Issues of concern may or may
not be directly related to service activity, e.g. couples issues,
medical problems, concerns about parenting, etc. Typically,
therapy sessions are held weekly, and all participation in the
program is strictly confidential.
Interested veterans or family members should contact the Center at
View the Military Services Initiative brochure.