Too many choices isn’t always a good thing. In the information age, the amount of news and information people get bombarded with often overwhelms them and keeps people from being informed, and is it really necessary to choose from 100 different peanut butters at the grocery store? Comedian Denis Leary has a famous joke about the overabundance of coffee flavors available now which he ends with, “Can I just have the coffee-flavored coffee, please?”
This overwhelming abundance of choice is also prevalent in the military. Veterans, active service members and their families are told on every front about the wide range of resources available to them either free or at a lowered cost, yet many are unsure what those benefits are, where to get them, how they work, or who to talk to for utilizing those benefits. On the other hand, businesses and schools want to support their military employees and students, but many are in the same position as the service members and are unsure exactly what to do or where to start.
To help assist with this predicament, ACI has developed the Top 5 Services for Military Services Members, Veterans and their Families.
1. Provide sessions with providers specialized in military issues. Professional counselors with military experience help support military service members and their families with emotional, behavioral and mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), suicide prevention, substance abuse/addiction and more.
2. Provide financial consultation. For service members and their families, financial issues are often a top concern. Providing financial consultation for money management, dealing with debt, planning for retirement, and other financial help will be extremely beneficial to a military family.
3. Give career and education assistance. Offering referrals for job search assistance, educational resources, and career counseling is essential to successful life after the military for servicemen and women. Furthermore, offering assistance that helps veterans and their family members understand the benefits, deadlines and intricacies of the GI Bill will equip veterans with the tools necessary to get the most out of their well-earned benefits.
4. Offer comprehensive referrals for community-based resources. There is no questioning the amount of community-based resources available to veterans, but helping veterans find the ones that work for them and wading through the plethora of self-serving military promotions is the difficult task. Providing services that help them locate these resources can result in low-cost to free assistance with housing, education, child care, medical needs, transportation and many other life needs.
5. Enact training and consultation for human resources, managers and student services. Training supervisors, advisors and managers on veteran-specific issues at school and in the workplace is imperative to providing the best possible resources for service members and their families. This includes teaching them the most common issues veterans deal with, training them on identifying behavioral red flags, as well as teaching them the appropriate professional resources to refer service members to depending on the situation.
In celebration of Fourth of July, ACI announces a new Veteran’s Module as part of its Top-Ten EAP and student assistance programs. Get the full scoop on July 4!