A new Sussex County Vet Center, 20653 DuPont Blvd. in Georgetown, has opened its doors to welcome home war veterans by providing quality readjustment counseling in a caring, understanding and confidential manner.
Part of the Department of Veterans Affairs, vet centers were established by Congress in 1979 out of recognition that a significant number of Vietnam-era vets were still experiencing adjustment problems. In April 1991, in response to the Persian Gulf era, Congress extended the eligibility to veterans of other periods of hostilities.
Vet centers also offer counseling for veterans who experience sexual trauma or sexual harassment while in the military. The services are free, and all of the centers are based in the community. Many of the counselors are also veterans.
Readjustment counseling provides a wide range of psychosocial services to eligible veterans and their families to help veterans make successful transitions from military to civilian life. Included are individual and group counseling on such issues as PTSD, depression, sexual trauma, and substance abuse screening and treatment.
Also, counselors help veterans with anxiety, mood, and anger management problems, support and referral services for benefits, medical, and other related post-military issues.
In addition, vet centers provide bereavement counseling for veterans, surviving parents, spouses, children and siblings of service members who died of any cause while on active duty, including federally activated Reserve and National Guard personnel.
For more information about eligibility and services or to schedule an appointment, call Ted Smith, MSW, team leader, at 302-225-9110 or Carla Van Curen, office manager, at 302-824-9170.