On a Mission
To address a broad range of emotional, spiritual, educational, vocational, in addition to other needs of Veterans.
What is Vet to Vet?
Vet to Vet is a program that utilizes recovering Veterans in a peer-educator capacity. We help Veterans understand and navigate the VA system. The program is a recovery-based model that involves Veterans as both consumers, as well as providers of mental health support services.
What is the Purpose?
Vet to Vet provides a way for recovering Veterans who have been through the same or similar experiences to share these with others. It strives to educate Veterans through peer to peer mutual support.
How did Vet to Vet come about?
The program is in keeping with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Action Agenda along with the Presidents’ New Freedom Commissions’ recommendations which in part calls for:
- The involvement of consumers and families in orienting the mental health system toward recovery.
- Involvement of consumers educating staff, Veterans and family members about their treatment.
- Development of peer support programs as in addition to mental health services.
- Development of paid positions for Veterans within the facility/network to work with mental health leadership in developing Peer to Peer programs.
- Recruiting Veterans as peer and mental health professionals.
How is the program structured?
The program consists of weekly peer support group sessions that are led by trained facilitators. These Veterans lead the discussions and introduce educational topics. Although attended primarily by veterans who are currently receiving services from psycho-social rehabilitation programs, meetings are open to observation by staff, visitors and trainees.
How are peer facilitators trained?
Facilitators currently undergo an eight week training program. They complete an average of 32-40 hours of classroom training and ongoing supervision. Classroom instruction involves a review of textbook materials, class discussions, direct participation in behavioral exercises, formulation of action plans to affect life changes and subsequent in-class followup. Upon successful completion Facilitators are certified.