San Diego, CA., Feb. 5, 2023 /PRNewswire/ Cohens Veteran Network(CVN) a not-for-profit philanthropic organization that serves post-9/11 veterans, active duty service members and their families through a nationwide system of mental health clinics, welcomed First Lady Jill Biden at its Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at VVSD (Veterans Village of San Diego), Oceanside in Oceanside, CA as part of the White House’s Joining Forces initiative to support military and veteran families, caregivers and survivors. The initiative, which centers around bringing awareness to the experiences of military-connected families, highlighting the resources available to them, and driving policy improvements, includes a focus area of health and well-being. Since its inception in 2016, CVN has provided accessible, high-quality mental health services to 50,000 clients across its growing network of clinics.
The First Lady of the United States Dr. Jill Biden visits The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at VVSD, Oceanside in Oceanside, California on February 4, 2023.
“We are thrilled to host Dr. Biden as she remains resolute in her mission to support our nation’s military families,” says Cohen Veterans Network President and CEO Dr. Anthony Hassan. “We are grateful that she is bringing awareness to the experiences of military families to generate additional public support and that she is working to connect military families with the resources they greatly need and deserve.”
There are currently over 2 million uniformed U.S. service members and 2.6 million family members across the globe. Due to the distinctive circumstances associated with military life such as deployments and reintegration, long separations, and frequent moves, many military family members experience unique mental health concerns. In fact, while military families have proven to be incredibly resilient overall, it has been found that children from military families have a higher risk of social, emotional, and behavioral challenges including anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation in comparison to children who are not from military families.
Mental health was the topic of a roundtable discussion held today as part of Dr. Biden’s visit. She heard from military family members and veterans about their challenges, sacrifices, strength, and resilience, as well as their experiences in reaching out for help. Dr. Biden was additionally provided a tour of the Cohen Clinic, which was specifically designed with military families in mind.
The Cohen Clinic at VVSD (Veterans Village of San Diego), Oceanside is located a short distance from Camp Pendleton, which is one of the Department of Defense’s busiest installations. The area is home to nearly 40,000 active duty service members, 33,000 post-9/11 veterans and more than 31,000 military family members. All of whom are eligible for care that the Cohen Clinic in Oceanside provides.
“Due to shortages in on-base mental health providers, the Cohen Clinic at VVSD, Oceanside provides a viable alternative to timely and quality mental health care for our service members, veterans, and their families that is essential to personnel and unit readiness,” says Colonel Daniel M. Whitley, Assistant Chief of Staff G-7, Government & External Affairs, MCIWest-MCB Camp Pendleton.
“In a place like San Diego, CA, home to one of the largest populations of service members, veterans, and their families, VVSD recognizes the importance of initiatives like Joining Forces,” says Veterans Village of San Diego President and CEO Akilah Templeton. “Dr. Biden’s efforts towards raising awareness and encouraging collaboration in support of military families are inspiring.”
The Cohen Clinic at VVSD, Oceanside is one of 23 Cohen Clinics in high-need communities across the country. The network combines military culturally competent care with staff members trained to work with veterans and military families. Many clinic team members are military connected individuals with nearly 25% of Cohen Clinic staff being veterans and 21% being military spouses.
The network treats the entire military family including spouses, partners, children, parents, caregivers, survivors, and others. Approximately 47% of CVN clients are military or veteran family members, while nearly 53% of all clients are veterans or active duty service members. Treatment is available for a wide variety of mental health challenges including depression, anxiety, adjustment issues, anger, PTSD, grief and loss, family issues, transition challenges, relationship problems, and children’s behavioral problems. Care is available in person or via CVN Telehealth, face-to-face video therapy.
“We know that treatment works, and it is imperative that military families have access to culturally competent mental health services with their unique circumstances in mind. We heard it firsthand from our clients in the room today. So, when a military family member raises their hand for help, we must be there to support them. In an effort to save lives, save families and save futures, CVN remains committed to removing barriers to treatment and filling the gaps in care,” says Dr. Hassan.
ABOUT COHEN VETERANS NETWORK
Cohen Veterans Network (CVN) is a 501(c)(3) national not-for-profit philanthropic organization for post-9/11 veterans, active-duty service members and their families. CVN focuses on improving mental health outcomes, operating a network of outpatient mental health clinics in high-need communities, in which trained clinicians deliver holistic evidence-based care to treat mental health conditions. It was established in 2016 by philanthropist Steven A. Cohen with a commitment of $275 million to build the network. Learn more about CVN.
ABOUT VETERANS VILLAGE OF SAN DIEGO (VVSD)
Veterans Village of San Diego (VVSD) has served Veterans since 1981 and provides services to more than 3,000 Military Veterans each year throughout the county of San Diego, CA. VVSD services include: Mental Health Services, Housing – Temporary & Permanent, Drug & Alcohol Rehabilitation, Employment & Training, Temporary Financial Assistance, Support for Senior Veterans and Support for Veterans’ Families – Women and Children, Homeless Court and more. www.vvsd.net