Help for Military Sexual Trauma (MST)

Harvey MorrisPodcast

Transcript of Road Home Program: The Podcast, Episode 8

Road Home Program staff members discuss what Military Sexual Trauma (MST) is, how it can impact a person’s life, and the variety of options available for treatment.

Ashton Kroner, Outreach Coordinator at The Road Home Program at Rush: Hi, I’m Ashton Kroner, I’m an Outreach Coordinator with the Road Home Program and today we’re going to be talking about Sexual Assault Awareness. And today with me I have members of the MST subcommittee. Dr. Vanessa, if you could go ahead and introduce yourself.

Vanessa Tirone, Psychologist at The Road Home Program at Rush: Hi, I’m Vanessa Tirone. I am a psychologist at the Road Home.

Jocelyn Kressler, Post-doctoral Fellow at The Road Home Program at Rush: HI, my name is Dr. Jocelyn Kressler. I am a postdoctoral fellow here at the Road Home Program. 

MeeSoh Bossard: Social Worker at The Road Home Program at Rush: Hi, I’m MeeSoh Bossard. I’m a social worker here at Road Home.

Ashton Kroner: All right, welcome everyone. So we’re going to go ahead and start off. The first question of the day, Vanessa, is going to be towards you. So what is MST or military sexual trauma? 

Vanessa Tirone: Yeah, so MST, like you mentioned, stands for military sexual trauma. It can include a very wide spectrum of experiences. On the one hand, there are experiences of harassment, which can include on the more extreme end things like being threatened for adverse career consequences if one doesn’t engage in sexual activity with another individual. But it can also include behaviors like language or, you know, showing pornography or pictures or things that create a hostile or an uncomfortable environment. MST can also include experiences that we would call assault, which can, again occur on a spectrum. It can include anything like threats of harm if one doesn’t engage in sexual activity, taking advantage of an individual when they are unable to consent due to being under the influence of substances, and on the more extreme end, involve the actual use of physical force to compel someone to engage in sexual activity. And these types of behaviors all fall under the category of MST, regardless of the individual’s relationship to the person that’s engaging in the aggressive or harassing behavior. So an experience can still be MST, for example, even if the one experiencing assault or harassment is in a romantic relationship with the other individual. So it can really include a lot of different behaviors. Interestingly, though, MST is not a mental health diagnosis, specifically, more it’s something that has happened to someone.

Ashton Kroner: Okay, thank you. So, Jocelyn, um, you know, what is PTSD?

Jocelyn Kressler: Yeah, so, um, as Dr.Tirone was explaining, military sexual trauma is, or sexual assault in general, is a traumatic or can be traumatic experiences that an individual goes through, but that’s not necessarily a diagnosis in and of itself. So, PTSD stands for posttraumatic stress disorder and it’s one potential diagnosis that an individual might meet criteria for as a result of experiencing trauma, and it has to do with the impacts and how they’ve been impacted, or how their mental health has been impacted, and their functioning has been impacted. So, PTSD is one of several diagnoses that an individual who experiences military sexual trauma might have. PTSD specifically is a mental health response to a traumatic event. Trauma is something that our brains, our bodies are not wired to experience. So, any sort of response or reaction that we have is actually normal. And so there are different symptoms that are associated with posttraumatic stress disorder and any of those stress responses really are what we call normal because it’s our brain, our body just trying to understand what’s going on. So these, some of the symptoms that are involved in PTSD might include nightmares, might include unwanted thoughts, memories related to the event. You might notice flashbacks or becoming overwhelmingly emotional when something reminds you of the event, even physiologically aroused when reminded of the event. So maybe heart racing or palms sweating, breathing changes. You might also notice irritability. You might notice self-destructive behavior, hyper-vigilance, difficulty concentrating, even sleep issues. Other symptoms that you might notice will relate to what we call, kind of, changes in how we think and feel. And so those kind of symptoms relate to potentially blaming ourselves or blaming someone else for an event or the consequences of it. It might look like difficulty remembering the event or negative beliefs about ourselves, others of the world, potentially diminished interest in activities that we used to find pleasurable or used to enjoy doing. We might also find that we feel overwhelmingly negative emotions or, you know, in contrast, an inability to experience positive emotions. We might also feel detached or disconnected from other people. And the final kind of aspect of PTSD has to do with this idea of avoidance. So because these thoughts, these feelings, these experiences can be so overwhelming, we might find that we’re actively or not even recognizing it, avoiding thoughts, feelings, emotions, situations, people, events that might remind us of that event, that might remind us of that situation. Anything so that we don’t have to think or feel or experience whatever emotions or thoughts we had during that traumatic event. And the only other thing to just kind of note about PTSD is that typically, it’s common for individuals that have experienced something that they consider traumatic to experience these symptoms. And when we find that these symptoms last for more than a month, or that these symptoms are getting worse, or becoming more intense that’s when we might diagnose someone with PTSD. 

Ashton Kroner: Okay, great. All right, so MeeSoh, how can the Road Home Program help someone that has PTSD from the MST experience?

MeeSoh Bossard: Yeah, that’s a really good question. So the Road Home Program here, we are a collaborative effort between Rush University Medical Center and the Wounded Warrior Project. We are one of several sites in the nation and, forgive us for tooting our own horn a little bit, but especially when it comes to MST survivors, we are really special in that we offer specialized services through our bread and butter program, through the Intensive Outpatient Program. But okay, so I want to sort of give a plug for our bread and butter program at this time. So, the IOP stands for the Intensive Outpatient Program. It’s a little bit different from what you might think of when you think of just traditional outpatient therapy, which was would sort of be like once a week basis, or even twice a week, right? Through our IOP we are sort of collecting veterans who have a diagnosis of PTSD, particularly secondary to that military sexual trauma, and we’re inviting them to a cohort-based program experience where they’re experiencing, like, trauma-focused treatment for two weeks at a time. They’re getting really specialized treatment from therapists who have knowledge of military culture, and specifically the intersection of sexual trauma, PTSD for folks who have served in the military. And while you’re here for that kind of a program, you’re also sort of getting holistic care and you’re learning skills about emotion regulation, communication skills, as well. And what’s awesome is you’re also sort of invited to invite someone close to you whom you trust, whether it’s a friend or family member, so as they get a better sense for how to support you while you’re here and also when you leave us since it’s a pretty short two-week program. Road Home can also help folks who have experienced military sexual trauma through, just starts with traditional outpatient therapy services, which is exactly like what I was talking about earlier. It’s sort of more similar to what you think of when you think of traditional therapy. And another thing that’s super cool about our clinic is several of our providers are either, like, they like grew up in a military background, or they also served the military themselves. So you really are getting not only, like, background and evidence-based treatment for MST and PTSD in general, but also folks who really have a passion for working with this, you know, population and who want to do this work because they care about the folks and a lot of folks are bringing to the tables from not only, like, the therapeutic expertise but also, sort of, the reason and the passion for doing the work they want to do. So, you’re also getting that, like, care element, as well, which is just pretty special and pretty awesome. Outside of just individual therapy, we also have several outpatient groups. So, for example, a lot of veterans that we work with who have experienced military sexual trauma are just also find themselves looking for ways to manage their distress on their own in any way that they can and sometimes that can look like a variety of different things. Sometimes, you know, folks are, you know, reaching for alcohol or other substances just because they want to find ways to manage their own stress. So, we have special groups for folks, veterans, who, you know, most likely have PTSD and also find themselves utilizing substances, and are at a point where they’re sort of looking for alternate coping skills to really get at, like, long term improvement in the distress that they probably been experiencing for a long time. We also have, you know, cool groups, like art therapy groups, and other things like that. And we also have fantastic chaplains on staff to attend to, like, spiritual journeys because we know that when folks deal with traumatic events, a lot of times they’re having questions around, you know, you know, meaning and purpose and sort of, how can these things happen? Like really deep, philosophical questions like that. 

Ashton Kroner: No, thank you. So, you know, what are some of the signs, Vanessa, that, you know, somebody might, you know, might recognize in themselves to be able to, you know, receive help? And then also to caveat onto that, you know, how does MST impact one’s life where they might need to come to the Road Home Program?

Vanessa Tirone: Yeah, those are great questions. So, I think that idea of looking for signs is kind of interesting. Whether we’re talking about folks who are, you know, veterans or folks like ourselves who are in the helping professions, I think we can really get in that mindset of, like, being the strong person or the person that’s like helping other people. And so we may not necessarily be in the mindset of looking for receiving help ourselves. And so, like, I think Dr. Kressler mentioned, you know, not everybody that experiences MST goes on to develop a mental health diagnosis, although, you know, it can be a significant risk factor. I think that folks could even think about, hey, this really stressful thing happened to me, let me, like, be proactive, like, I deserve support, for kind of making sense of this or coping with it, even if I like haven’t noticed symptoms yet, right? We don’t really need to wait until it gets really bad to ask for that help or to deserve that help. However, you know, if folks have kind of found themselves struggling for a bit, there are numerous types of different signs including, kind of like Dr. Kessler mentioned, PTSD being one of the very common diagnoses. However, there can also be other mental health symptoms that can happen after MST. Just another couple of really common things include panic attacks, insomnia, general anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and substance use difficulties. So there can be a variety of mental health symptom-related reactions. And, you know, the MST and whatever associated symptoms we might be having can also impact different domains of a person’s life, right? So it could show up in terms of a drop in your performance that could have started during the military, right? But could then also continue on into struggling more to reintegrate into school or the workplace. Trouble with, like, parenting, right? Like difficulty being patient or difficulty kind of bonding with kids. Or difficulty in our adult relationships, like having a hard time forming or maintaining close relationships that are safe. We also know or mentioned that MST can really impact our actual physical health, right? So it’s not uncommon, for example, for folks with a history of MST in particular to have pelvic or sexual health problems. Things like chronic pain in the pelvic area or difficulties with things like constipation or incontinence. So, it can really run the gamut of impacting lots of different areas of people’s lives. And any of these, again, are areas that you deserve to have help with. And it’s okay to seek help, just because it’s a stressful experience in and of itself.

Ashton Kroner: So, I think you hit on a few things. You were mentioning some of the impacts, you know, of not being able to get, you know, treatment, but I mean, what are some of the, you know, the short and long term, you know, things that can happen to somebody if they avoid getting treatment?

Vanessa Tirone: Yeah, that’s a really great question, too. So, I think, um, I think we kind of talked about some of the examples, like, in the short term, in terms of the development of some of these mental health symptoms, right? But, kind of, as we move further out, disorders like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression can, unfortunately, put people at risk for suicidal thoughts and self-harm behaviors. So we really want to avoid folks getting to that point, if we can. You know, there’s also the degree to which kind of once some of these symptoms develop, the longer they go untreated, the more chronic they can become. So we know that if someone has one depression episode, they’re going to be much more likely to have more depression episodes throughout their lives. So these symptoms can kind of snowball and take on a life of their own. There’s also an extent to which Dr. Kressler mentioned this a bit, as well, but a big kind of hallmark of PTSD symptoms is avoidance. So that’s part of why we’re out here talking about how important it is to get help. Because ironically, like, PTSD makes folks kind of want to shrink away and hide. But, you know, the longer folks have PTSD, the more and more potential triggers they could be really struggling to avoid. And as they’re trying to avoid those triggers, and by that, I mean anything that could kind of remind them of the trauma or bring up the memories or emotions, they can end up really isolating themselves from a support network. And so you can end up in a position where you have these worsening mental health symptoms over time, whether it is PTSD, substance use, depression, and you can have, kind of, fewer and fewer folks that you feel like you have to turn with to get that, to turn to get that help. And it can be really hard to struggle with these kinds of things in isolation.

Ashton Kroner: No, I mean, I agree with you on that. I can say, from personal experience, you know, battling PTSD myself, it does impact the family quite a bit, as well. We know here at the Road Home Program that it’s not the individual veteran that is battling PTSD. It’s, you know, it really impacts the entire family. You know, and I like to sit there and caveat off that, of somebody that’s not going to get help, you know, one of those symptoms start to present themselves, you know, it will start interfering with, like you had mentioned, you know, family, you know, your relationships with, you know, your significant other, you know, your parents, etc. But how it impacted me, you know, my story is, um, you know, my daughter, she was living with us, and whenever she started eating to become that, you know, I was a teenager, you know, phase, you know, her problems started kind of presenting, and it really started, you know, impacting the entire family, which actually ended up her leaving our home, you know, and so now she’s being raised by my mother in law. And she’s in a much better place, but that’s because, you know, all of the mental health in one household, you know, myself, my PTSD and my husband, you know, we really did see a huge impact on the family. So, you know, I do think it’s important, you know, as veterans, you know, if you start seeing these type of symptoms, or whether you’re a veteran or a veteran, family member, whomever that has PTSD, you know, go ahead and get help, you know, while you can, you know, earlier on so it doesn’t impact these relationships later on.

Vanessa Tirone: Hey, Ashton, if I can, if I can add to that real quick, like, I love the point that you brought up there, because like, this might not just be getting help for yourself. It could also be getting help for kids in terms of, like, child therapy, you know, for them or family therapy. And they don’t necessarily need to know that you experienced MST or anything like that, but kids starting I know, I know your daughter was a teenager, so she was probably, like, pretty conscientious about what was going on with you. But even kids were really young, like toddler age, can pick up on things like PTSD, depression in their parents. And so again, sometimes like the more proactive we can be about that and can explain to them some of what they’re experiencing, the fact that you know, Mom, Dad is more anxious, depressed, now it isn’t because of you or because you’re bad, can really set them up well in terms of their own mental health.

Ashton Kroner: No, absolutely. I agree. So, Jocelyn, that kind of brings us into our next question. So for somebody that’s presenting with, you know, symptoms of PTSD, I know Lisa did a great job of explaining some of the benefits and programming that we have at Road Home Program. But can you elaborate, you know, on some other services or other programs within our, you know, the Road Home or, you know, national where people can go and get help?

Jocelyn Kressler: Yeah, absolutely. So I think MeeSoh did a great job of explaining how Road Home really tries to provide this 360 holistic approach to treating PTSD not only within the individual themselves, of their mental health needs, their medical needs, even spiritual needs, so this biopsychosocial, but also in terms of their family as well, right? So, MeeSoh explains that in our outpatient program, we provide couples therapy, we provide family therapy, child psychotherapy, as well. And we also have this ability to include family members and supports within our IOP should individuals be, you know, from out of state. If you are interested in, kind of, learning more about Road Home, definitely encourage you to give us a call. Our number is 312-942-8387. But should you not be in the Chicago location, which, you know, we’ll be okay with, right? There’s also a ton of other resources at your fingertips where you can learn more about what Military Sexual assault is, what sexual trauma is, what PTSD is, and, kind of, where to get help. One of them is going to be at your local VA. Every single VA, and when I say VA, I mean their main location, so not necessarily a satellite clinic or their community-based outpatient clinic, their main VA building. Every VA has what’s called an MST Coordinator and an MST Coordinator’s job is to connect individuals that have experienced Military Sexual Trauma with different resources that are provided to them, that can be available to them. So, that’s a really great place to start. Another option, if you’re in Illinois, let’s say, is an organization called Resilience. They are part of a larger national organization called the National Network of Sexual Assault Advocates, and this larger national organization, there are sites throughout the entire country. So in Illinois, the biggest one that I can think of off the top of my head is Resilience. But if you want to get more information, if you’re in a different state, let’s say, about National Sexual Assault resources, RAINN, our is going to be your best bet. Through this website, you can contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline, which is 1-800-656-4673. You can also chat to individuals online and what’s really amazing is that they will connect you with an organization in your local site. So you call in, you put in your zip code, and they’ll connect you with an organization in your area. There’s even a hotline for individuals that are current service members, so if you’re currently active duty, if you’re in the reserves, they also have one specifically for DOD. And that is called DOD Safe Helpline. That phone number is going to be 1 800 656 HOPE. So, we have the same number, you can use it for multiple things pretty amazing. So RAINN’s DOD Safe Helpline and their National Sexual Assault Hotline, both things I would definitely suggest. Going to your local VA or connecting with the MST Coordinator at the main building of your VA or even calling Road Home. And if you’re not exactly sure where to start, but you remember our name, give us a call, too, and we can help in whatever way we can.

Ashton Kroner: So, Vanessa, after somebody calls in, it doesn’t have to be necessarily with Road Home, but let’s just say somebody is seeking treatment, what are some of the expectations that somebody can, you know, expect when going through treatment? You can start with Road Home and then kind of, you know, kind of, on outside treatment options, if you choose. But I mean, just kind of walk me through that process and what that individual veteran will expect.

Vanessa Tirone: Sure, sure. So typically, when you are trying to initiate treatment, you have to schedule what we call like an intake first. And it tends to be an initial interview with a mental health professional, where they get some idea about your past history, what’s impacting you the most now, and based off that information, try to match you with the most appropriate resources or treatment. And so that initial intake appointment is really about specializing the treatment plan to you. But it can still be pretty intimidating to go in and speak with someone you’ve never met with before about concerns that you may have never really discussed before, right? And so there’s some important things to keep in mind even going into that initial visit. One is to, kind of, keep in mind that you’re the best advocate for your own care. And I think sometimes we can be used to a certain dynamic when we go into things like doctor’s appointments, right? We respect the doctor. A doctor is supposed to take care of us and is supposed to be really knowledgeable, so we might feel a certain pressure to kind of, you know, do whatever they say, right? Follow their instructions. Even going into an initial mental health intake, when we’re considering things like the questions that the interviewer asks you, if an interviewer asks you, have you ever experienced a trauma? Has anyone ever pressured you to have sex when you don’t want to? Those are some examples of types of questions you might receive. The mental health care provider will probably be the best equipped to understand what’s going on with you. The, kind of, more information you feel comfortable giving and yet, at the same time, it’s always within your right to either say that you don’t feel comfortable answering a question, or to give kind of a limited answer to the question. So saying, like, yes, someone did do that, I was pressured to have sex and they didn’t want to, I don’t feel comfortable sharing any the details of that experience at this time. So, I hope folks, kind of, leave this understanding both that it’s good to seek help and seeking help. And that initial appointment doesn’t necessarily mean like having to spill your guts about everything that you might be nervous to talk about. And that may or may not actually be helpful to you, especially if you know that this person is just an intake clinician or intake interviewer. You know, you might want to advocate to kind of save some pieces of information until you know for sure which therapists you might be working with long term. 

Ashton Kroner: No, no, go ahead. Sorry. 

Vanessa Tirone: Oh, um, I was gonna say kind of along with that, I know that a lot of our patients, um, you know, tend to have questions about confidentiality, right? Going into those visits. They might have concerns that if they acknowledge having certain types of symptoms, right? Depression, flashbacks, suicidal thoughts, that the symptoms might be kind of so severe that they might get sent right to the hospital. But it’s important that you know that in most places where you might talk to a mental health provider, there are confidentiality regulations that protect you. And so, mental health care providers won’t share any of that personal information that you give them, unless you specifically ask them to. And the only real exceptions to that are, if you say that you’re in a very immediate danger of harming yourself or somebody else, and you don’t feel confident that you would be able to stop yourself from acting on those thoughts. And that would include, of course, any kind of ongoing cases of abuse of a child or an elderly or disabled person. But, again, we only break the confidentiality in those situations to, kind of, make sure that anybody involved is safe. And we won’t share information that isn’t at that crisis level because it’s really important for folks to have confidentiality so that they can feel like they trust a mental health professional to discuss these sensitive issues.

Ashton Kroner: I can’t say that a lot of the times when I’m out in the community, I’m talking to a veteran that’s looking to get in mental health, and I’m going to use an example of a police officer. One of the things that I’m constantly getting asked is, if I seek mental health treatment, is that going to impact my job? Can I lose my badge or my FOID Card? Um, you know, what are some of the, I guess, the kind of common myths that you hear? You know, and can you kind of dispel some of those myths, as well? Kind of goes into the confidentiality?

Vanessa Tirone: Yeah, yeah. And so, again, similar to what I mentioned before in terms of suicidal thoughts, right? We do not voluntarily reach out to your job, reach out to, kind of, you know, state organizations that provide licenses to give them information about your mental health. The only times that we do that would be if you specifically asked us to contact outside organizations to give them information. And even in those cases, we try to be pretty specific with you about, like, what’s the minimum amount of information, for example, your job needs to have in order to give you this time off work to get treatment. And so, we wouldn’t necessarily disclose any of the details of what’s discussed in your sessions if we could help it. With some examples, like divorce proceedings or child custody proceedings, as mental health care providers, we can sometimes be issued a subpoena for mental health records. But again, we kind of have this allegiance to protecting your information. Its kind of part of our ethical and legal duties to you as a patient. So there are, even in those cases, some steps we can take to again, like, really limit the amount of information that gets shared with anybody.

Ashton Kroner: I know, that’s great. Thank you, Vanessa. Um, so I kind of want to go ahead and just open it up for any last thoughts on this matter. Jocelyn, MeeSoh, Vanessa, is there any last thoughts that you want to tell anybody about, you know, MST, or, you know, kind of some of the treatment, you know, at Road Home? Anything along those lines? 

Jocelyn Kressler: Yeah, um, so one of the things that I wanted to just kind of recognize is that it’s a common misconception that only women or women-identified individuals are sexually assaulted or sexually harassed in the military, outside of the military, and that men are not, and that is most certainly not the case. In fact, statistics show that men and, I know Dr.Tirone, you know, this statistic exactly but I’m, I’m gonna need you to jump in. But my understanding is that even though the percentage of women it seems, is higher, the in actual numbers, there are more men that have experienced sexual violence in the military compared to females.

Vanessa Tirone: That’s right. It’s just under 2% of men who experienced military, sexual assault. But again, if we think of the raw numbers, that there’s so many more men in the military, that actually works out to be many more men than women that experience assault. Even though as a woman going into the military, your odds or your likelihood, unfortunately, of experiencing an assault is higher, if that makes sense.

Jocelyn Kressler: Another thing that I want to just, kind of, highlight is that sometimes individuals who have experienced sexual assault or sexual violence in any capacity might experience blame if they were under the influence of alcohol, if they were wearing an outfit that they might have considered flirtatious, or if they were in a situation where maybe they were initially interested in the individual that ended up perpetrating some sort of event. And so for those individuals, I really want to hit home the idea that No means no. And that even if at first consent is given, it can always be taken away. And also this idea that just because you’re maybe wearing a certain outfit, or you’re dressed in a certain way, or you’re saying a certain thing does not give consent, and that drinking alcohol or engaging in substance use does not indicate blame. So those are things I think are very important to highlight.

Ashton Kroner: I do have one final question for the group. What are the some of the eligibility requirements for a veteran to seek treatment? Like, if they want to come to the Road Home Program, you know, are they eligible if they have a dishonorable discharge? Do they have to be a post-9/11 veteran? Can somebody extend on that?

Jocelyn Kressler: Sure. I mean, yes. We were all fighting to figure out who wanted to answer that question. Sorry, for that pause. Um, so as it relates to the Road Home Program, because we are funded by a nonprofit organization called the Wounded Warriors Project, we have the ability to serve veterans who have honorable, under honorable and dishonorable discharge statuses. And so we are here to help post-9/11, pre-9/11 veterans. We have that kind of flexibility because of the different nonprofit organizations with whom we work. I will say in the VA, depending on discharge status, will definitely need to be clarified in terms of what your discharge status is, however, for most discharge statuses, and again, get clarification – even if you don’t have service connection at the VA that you’re associated with, doesn’t mean that you’re ineligible from receiving MST related mental health or medical resources. So I definitely encourage anyone that’s interested in getting MST-related resources or even learning more about what options are available to them to definitely reach out to us if you’re in Chicago. If you want to go to your local VA, to definitely go to the VA, the main campus building, and connect with that MST Coordinator to get a better understanding because there are likely more resources than we might know of.

Ashton Kroner: And we also are seeing active duty veterans as well reserve National Guard so you have experienced any type of sexual trauma along the active-duty side, you know, you are eligible to come to our programming, as well. Is there any type of special, you know, paperwork or anything needed from their command for them to be able to come? Or is I mean, how would that work? Vanessa, could you extend on that?

Vanessa Tirone: Um, I am not aware of, you may have caught me with the one question I don’t know. I’m not aware of any particular paperwork other than in order to receive mental health services, we just need any kind of proof of your history of service. Um, but that really should be it, I think, correct me if I’m wrong.

Ashton Kroner: No, it works. Thank you, Vanessa. Thanks, Jocelyn and MeeSoh. This is going to go ahead and conclude our, you know, our broadcasts on the Sexual Assault Awareness for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Thank you all for your time.


About Road Home Program: The Podcast

Veterans have served our country, now it’s our turn to serve them. Road Home’s Will Beiersdorf talks with veterans and their families about their journeys transitioning to civilian life. During every episode you’ll hear from subject matter experts, like Rush clinicians, staff and community partners, discussing resources and services available to veterans to help them heal from the invisible wounds of war. Subscribe, download, or listen to other Road Home Program podcast episodes.

The Road Home Program provides mental health care and wellness to veterans of all eras, service members, and their families at no cost and regardless of discharge status. If you or a loved one needs help, call us at (312) 942-8387 (VETS) or fill out the Get Care form.