The Vets Prevail program sees success in its first years
Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 2:00:20 PM
Nonprofits, community groups and government organizations have created a number of initiatives aimed toward helping military veterans transition back to civilian life. Recently, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs began working with the Vets Prevail program to provide anonymous, online counseling to former service members, and, according to Military Times, the initiative has been successful.
According to Vets Prevail's website, the online resource connects military members to online counselors who can provide assistance to veterans in need. The program begins by asking users to answer a string of questions about their personal lives and preferences, then taking them through a series of lessons to educate them about what personal problems they may be dealing with, and guidelines on how to overcome them. From there, personal Peer Coaches work with visitors to talk through suggestions or lend an ear to any problem the veteran may be facing.
Richard Gengler, the founder of the company that runs the program - Prevail Health Solutions - explained to Military Times that the resource was especially beneficial for veterans who respond best to anonymous assistance. He added that in just three months, the program had reached more than 2,200 people.
"We think that shows the real need for something like this," Gengler said. "A lot of the time, veterans are scared away from getting any help because of the stigma. But this is a way to reach them and help them."
While visitors to the site are not required to divulge any identifying information, they are presented with resources pertaining to nearby VA offices or additional counseling services in the area. Gengler explained that more than half of the veterans who visit the site choose to pursue additional counseling.
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