Kansas is a military friendly State. Kansans appreciate service members, veterans and families and the sacrifices they have made in service for our country and our state. If you are a service member, veteran or family member, you may need help with post-traumatic stress, family stress, reintegration issues, substance abuse issues, depression, and suicidal or harming thoughts. HELP IS AVAILABLE.
No matter what county you live in, work in or are stationed in, you can find help with behavioral problems, substance use problems and find other service member/veteran peers who can help you locate and navigate treatment options to get the treatment you deserve.
Because Kansas has 9 percent veteran population (24 percent of those ages 17 to 60 years), and that population is slated to grow with downsizing of active military, Reserves and the National Guard. With the reduction of stigma in seeking Behavioral Health treatment and the need for service members, veterans and families, it is important that providers are prepared to work with our service members and families.
One way to do this is to ensure providers are trained in military cultural responsiveness. If you are not a veteran or family member, competency and basic understanding of language and experience is critical for engagement, retention in treatment, as well as for providing proper referrals for support services. If that is not possible, it is important to ensure that providers are connected to another agency you can refer military members and families to if the need arises.
There are many avenues of training available for developing competency and basic knowledge for serving the military population. The Governors Behavioral Health Service Planning Council’s Subcommittee on Veteran issues has recommended several that are listed below.
It is also vital as a service provider or stakeholder providing services, to identify if persons seeking services are military members or families. This can be done by simply asking upon intake of a new client “Have you ever served in the military, or has an immediate family member served? If so, what are the dates/years of service?”