Local VA resources stress importance of mental health, comradery for veterans

For veterans looking for assistance, multiple locations throughout the Brazos Valley and over the phone are available.
Published: Mar. 18, 2021 at 9:17 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Local veterans resources in the Brazos Valley stress the importance of dependable mental health outlets.

Shane Brune, Assistant Behavioral Health Director for MHMR in Bryan, says that access to mental health resources is important.

“Sometimes there is a stigma associated with getting help for behavioral health issues, so you find that many individuals are hesitant to get that help,” said Brune.

MHMR in Bryan serves lower socioeconomic communities, including some veterans, to give access to psychiatric care and counseling.

Brune says they have seen their caseload skyrocket, especially during the COVID- pandemic

“Getting a psychiatric bed, we call it PICU, is more difficult than getting a regular ICU bed for someone who needs medical care,” said Brune. “Mental illnesses are treatable, a lot of time they go without treatment because of a lack of access to care or a lack of access to the right kind of care.”

John Hince with American Legion Post 159 in Bryan says that having someone who understands what you have been through is a key component to being able to work on a veteran’s mental health.

“With trying to get these people who suffer from any sort of post-traumatic stress to open up, you don’t just need people who will listen, but someone who can listen and understand,” said Hince.

Hince says the post offers just that. Veterans are welcome every Thursday morning from 8 a.m. until 10 a.m. for free coffee and donuts just to talk. Hince says this type of comradery is imperative for veterans.

“What veterans have put themselves through, in terms of changing their behavior because they have changed it, that doesn’t make them less valued,” said Hince. “They just need more help getting back into what we used to call in Vietnam, ‘the world’, I’m going to get back to the world.”

Local mental health resources include the National Alliance on Mental Illness. They can be reached for both individual counseling and group sessions. They also teach mental health first aid to veteran groups. They can be reached at (979) 774-4713.

The Bryan/College Station VA Clinic can be reached at (979) 680-0361.

Both the VFW and VVA host PTSD group sessions. For the latest from the Brazos County VFW, click here. For the latest from the VVA, click here.

If in a crisis, Call (800) 273-8255 and press 1

Text 838255

Chat online

Support for Deaf and hard of hearing, call (800) 799-4889

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