1611 Virginia Ave., Ste 212, Box 406, North Bend , Oregon 97459 Hours: 10am-2pm Monday-Friday desk@sovoservesvets.org 541-756-8718 (Office) 541-756-8758 (Fax)

Are you depressed? Or just have the blues?

from My HealtheVet

As the song goes, “Everybody’s had the blues.” But what if the blues don’t go away? What if those feelings linger and begin to interfere in your life?
Depression is very common and more than 19 million people in the US have it. The right treatment can help.
My HealtheVet offers an anonymous Depression Screening Tool. The information entered is not captured anywhere. Answer the questions. Your score will give you an indicator of whether you need to seek help. You can print out the results and take them with you to your appointment. Click here for the Screening Tool.
For more information click here.

ODVA publishes first quarterly newsletter

from ODVA

Cadence Call, the first of ODVA’s quarterly newsletters can be found here. This issue contains a message from Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs Director, Kelly Fitzpatrick, and welcomes the new Deputy Director Sean O’Day.
Articles about Veteran Initiatives and Programs include expanding access to behavioral health services for veterans, ending veteran homelessness, and using volunteers to reach aging veterans with information about their earned benefits, and the I Am Not Invisible campaign by the Oregon Women Veteran Program.
The Legislative update includes videos of informational hearings about Veteran Behavioral Health, updates on the Oregon Veterans Home in Roseburg and the ODVA Recruitment Efforts along with a hearing on the Definition of a Veteran.
There’s lots more in this newsletter. Click here to read it.

VA Center for Women Veterans Celebrates 25th Anniversary

from US Dept. of Veterans Affairs
Press Release

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Center for Women Veterans (Center) commemorated 25 years of providing dedicated advocacy for America’s women Veterans Nov. 7, at VA headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Established by Congress in November 1994, the Center monitors VA’s administration of benefits and services to women Veterans to ensure they receive equal access to VA programs.

Read More

Online Health Library Available for Veterans: Free Veterans Source for Health Information

from blogs.va.gov
by Jay Shiffler

Veterans have access to a 24/7 online health library that provides information and education about treatments and conditions offered by VA.
The Veterans Health Library (VHL) has over 1,500 health sheets and 150 videos in both English and Spanish. It gives Veterans access to health information to help them make informed decisions on their care. VA clinicians are also aware of the VHL. The medical content in the library aligns with Department of Defense and VA clinical guidelines.
Access the Veterans Health Library at https://www.veteranshealthlibrary.va.gov/ or click here.
Read more about the Veterans Health Library and how to use it by clicking here.

Expanded access to Commissaries, Military Exchanges, and Recreation Facilities

Photo by Andrew Dill

Dept. of Defense
Press Release

The Department of Defense is expanding commissary, military exchange, and morale, welfare, and recreation (MWR) retail privileges on U.S. military installations as specified in the Purple Heart and Disabled Veterans Equal Access Act of 2018, included in the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019.
Starting Jan. 1, 2020, access will expand to include all veterans with service-connected disabilities, veterans who are Purple Heart recipients, veterans who are former prisoners of war, and individuals approved and designated as the primary family caregivers of eligible veterans under the Department of Veterans Affairs Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers. While this expansion will extend eligibility to over 4.1 million new patrons, the Department expects little to no impact on current patrons in most locations. There may be some impact in areas with a high cost of living, but the Department is preparing to accommodate all new patrons.

Read More

VA to expand support for caregivers of veterans

from LaGrande Observer
by Dick Mason

Caregivers of veterans soon will receive additional support from the Department of Veteran Affairs.
The VA’s Caregiver Support Program, which now assists caregivers of veterans who served after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States, will grow each of the next two years. Starting in June of 2020, caregivers of veterans who served anytime after 1974 will be able to apply for full services, and sometime in 2021 caregivers of veterans who served during or after World War II can apply.
To Read More about this expansion go to The Observer by clicking here.

VA Releases Survivors Quick Start Guide Reference guide to help during final arrangements planning

from ODVA

by Steven Clipp

Each person experiences grief differently when a loved one passes, but survivors should not feel confused about what to do next. The Survivors Quick Start Guide provides Veteran family members and caregivers a reference guide for what to do next.
To download your copy of the Survivors Quick Start Guide Click Here
Part of VA’s Welcome Kit, the Survivors quick start guide begins with a step by step checklist for preparing, applying for, and following up on the available benefits. Each step spells out in plain language what to do, what forms to fill out, and who to call if you need help.
The guide also helps families identify VA Survivor benefits and services they may be eligible for.
To Read More about the Survivors Quick Start Guide Click Here

Health Care: Hope for Veterans in Curry County

from The Curry Pilot
by Jeremy C. Ruark

Veterans in Curry County are being told there is hope for their health care needs. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Roseburg Health Care System Director Keith Allen is meeting with veterans throughout the region over the next few months to outline how the VA is now addressing the health care issues of veterans.
Read more at the Curry Pilot Here

The Remains of Three More U.S. Troops Killed in the Korean War Have Been Identified

From Time Magazine


(JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii) — The U.S. military says it has identified the remains of three more Americans killed during the Korean War, even as efforts to recover additional remains have stalled amid souring relations with North Korea.
To read more from this Time Magazine article, click here.

Other-than-honorable discharge? You’re still eligible for VA mental health care

From the Official Blog of the US Department of Veterans Affairs
by Hans Petersen

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has made mental health care treatment available to former service members with other-than-honorable (OTH) administrative discharges through two new programs.
One service, initiated in 2017, is specifically focused on expanding access to assist former OTH service members who are in mental health distress and may be at risk for suicide or other adverse behaviors.
The department’s Veterans Health Administration (VHA) medical centers are prepared to offer emergency stabilization care for former service members who arrive at the facility with a mental health need.
Former service members with an OTH administrative discharge may receive care for their mental health emergency for an initial period of up to 90 days, which can include inpatient, residential or outpatient care.
During this time, VHA and the Veterans Benefits Administration will work together to determine if the mental health condition is a result of a service-related injury, making the service member eligible for ongoing coverage for that condition.
A second initiative focuses on the implementation of Public Law 115-141. With this implementation, VA notified former service members of the mental and behavioral health care they may now be eligible for and sent out over 475,000 letters to inform former service members about this care.
The letters (sample follows) explained what they may be eligible for, how long they may be able to receive care and how they can get started.
“You are receiving this notification because you may be eligible for services from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Congress recently passed legislation that allows VA to provide ongoing mental and behavioral health care to certain former service members with Other Than Honorable (OTH) discharges, including those who
Were on active duty for more than 100 days and served in a combat role, or
Experienced sexual harassment or sexual assault while serving.
The rate of death by suicide among Veterans who do not use VA care is increasing at a greater rate than Veterans who use VA care; according to agency mental health officials. This is a national emergency that requires bold action. VA will do all that we can to help former service members who may be at risk. When we say even one Veteran suicide is one too many, we mean it.
In 2018, 1,818 individuals with an OTH discharge received mental health treatment, three times more than the 648 treated in 2017.
There was a total of 2,580 former servicemembers with an OTH discharge that received care in 2018 in VHA. Of these, 1,818 received treatment in Mental Health Services. Of the 2,580 servicemembers with OTH discharge, 1,076 had a mental health diagnosis.
Additionally, VA may be able to treat a mental illness presumed to be related to military service. When VA is unable to provide care, VA will work with partner agencies and will assist in making referrals for additional care as needed.
You can call or visit a VA medical center or Vet Center and let them know that you are a former service member with an OTH discharge who is interested in receiving mental health care.
Veterans in crisis should call the Veterans Crisis Line at 800-273-8255 (press 1), or text 838255.