INDIANAPOLIS — Studies show an alarming number of veterans do not seek the services and support offered by Veteran Affairs Offices. But Marion County is trying to change that.
A study from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine found nearly half of American veterans who need mental health care don’t get it.
Often, these individuals find it difficult to ask for help but Mayor Joe Hogsett’s Office of Veteran Services is trying to change the stigma.
“The biggest stigma that comes to anyone who serves in the military or public safety is mental health. Nobody talks about it,” said Gregory Stevens, Veteran Service Officer for the city of Indianapolis.
If you’ve served in the U.S. military, you are eligible for veteran services offered at your county Veteran Service Office.
In Marion County, every officer is a veteran – so they know what you’re going through and how to help.
Those services include helping veterans file benefit paperwork, connect with other veterans, utilize the military family relief fund and much more.
“When I got out of the military, I was active-duty Army,” said Sheena Linville, director of Veteran Services for the city of Indianapolis. “I didn’t know a lot about the services.”
Officers at the Marion County office say if you don’t contact them for yourself, do it for a family member or your battle buddy.
“I hope veterans take advantage of this when they get out of the military and file with the VA and call VSO,” Linville said. “You don’t know what kind of benefits you might be enabled to.”
If you do not live in Marion County, you can find your County Veteran Service Officers information on the Indiana Department of Veteran Affairs website.