In the pursuit of higher education, veteran students encounter unique challenges stemming from their military service. Recognizing the distinctive needs of this demographic, this article serves to outline the diverse range of resources available to veteran students both on and off campus. From healthcare and counseling to vocational rehabilitation and national organizations, these resources serve as pillars of assistance, ensuring that veteran students can successfully navigate the complexities of academia while addressing their specific needs as military veterans. Understanding the importance of these resources is paramount in acknowledging the sacrifices made by our veterans and in promoting their seamless transition into higher education and beyond.
On-Campus Resources at USC
USC provides a range of on-campus resources to support veteran students. The Engemann Student Health Center, located on the University Park Campus (UPC), offers general counseling services, including urgent and non-urgent matters. Additionally, the Eric Cohen Student Health Center, situated at the Health Sciences Campus (HSC), provides essential medical services and can be reached for urgent matters at any time. Group counseling services are also available through USC’s Student Counseling Services.
Confidential university resources include Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention and Services (RSVP), Student Counseling Services (SCS), and medical physicians at Engemann Student Health Center and Eric Cohen Student Health Center.
In Los Angeles County, several off-campus resources cater to the needs of veteran students. Give an Hour, a non-profit organization, offers free and confidential counseling services provided by licensed clinicians volunteering their time to serve military members and their families. Strength in Support focuses on low-cost counseling for veterans and their families, emphasizing individual, couples, family, and group therapy. The Soldiers Project provides free and confidential counseling services specifically for post-9/11 veterans and their families.
There are several healthcare centers in Los Angeles County, such as LAC + USC Medical Center, Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, and Olive View- UCLA Medical Center. Urgent care facilities like Claude Hudson Comprehensive Health Care, Hubert H. Humphrey Comprehensive Health Center, Edward R. Roybal Comprehensive Health Center, and Martin Luther King Jr., Outpatient Center are also available.
In addition, there are plenty of resources to assist veterans as they search for occupations. The process of job searching can be especially difficult for a veteran as they often face stereotypes that may harm their image to employers, and their duration of service can be viewed as a mere gap in their resume or lack of experience.
For vocational rehabilitation, the California Department of Rehabilitation,The California State Veterans Affairs Office, and the Los Angeles County Department of Military and Veterans Affairs offer personal assistance to veterans as well as information on housing, employment, education, and VA benefits.
- Los Angeles County General Guide to Veteran Resources : https://www.211la.org/veteran-services
- Del Amo Behavioral Health System of Southern California has specialized programs for treating military trauma. They can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-533-5266.
- The Veterans Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Dial 1-800-273-8255 , press 1 to connect with a counselor from the Department of Veterans Affairs. You can also text 838255.
- Domestic Violence Assistance –call toll-free: 800-799-7233 (SAFE).
Additional Mental Health Crisis Hotlines
- NVF Lifeline for Vets – 1-888-777-4443
- VA Suicide Hotline – 1-800-273-8255
- National Suicide Hotline – 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- Stop Soldier Suicide – 1.800.273.8255 #1
National Crisis Text Hotline
Text 741741 from anywhere in the USA, anytime, about any type of crisis. A live, trained Crisis Counselor receives the text and responds quickly. The volunteer Crisis Counselor will help you move from a hot moment to a cool moment. Crisis Text Line serves anyone, in any type of crisis, providing access to free, 24/7 support and information via the medium people already use and trust
All of these resources ensure that veteran students have access to a diverse range of opportunities that may help with healthcare, counseling, employment, education, and more. Through these efforts, USC seeks to support the unique needs of veteran students as they navigate their academic and personal journeys. For more information on the opportunities detailed in this article, visit the USC Veterans Resource Center.