Readjustment Counseling Service Vet Center Report
Vet Centers receive a listing from the regional offices of all PDHRA events scheduled in their areas. Most Vet Centers participated in 100 percent of PDHRA events; however, we found five Vet Centers that were unable to meet this requirement either because of staff vacancies or because there were no PDHRA events scheduled in the area.
The Committee also recommended that the Vet Centers provide outreach through association with community emergency responders, educational presentations at community mental health and social service agencies, and other forms of community education. According to the OHI information request results, we found that Vet Centers were participating in various community outreach activities as described by the Committee. Vet Centers developed liaisons with:
Veterans Service Organizations and other federal agencies.
Colleges (city, community, and universities).
Police and Fire Departments.
Local churches, hospitals, and the American Red Cross.
VA-sponsored Stand Downs.
Personal briefings (done with active service members, Reserves, and National
According to VA policy,12 Vet Centers are to make referrals when it is determined that the client’s presenting problems are beyond the scope of the Vet Center’s team services or expertise.
The OHI information request results disclosed that Vet Centers were referring clients for various types of services. Vet Centers made referrals for benefits assistance, substance abuse, and community education. Other referrals included medication and medical care at VAMCs, food and shelter, job counseling and placement, legal assistance, and military sexual trauma.
We were informed by the RCS staff that a Vet Center referral procedure was not in place; therefore, they were unable to capture the total number of referrals made by the Vet Centers. The Committee reported it was their understanding that Vet Centers made far more referrals to VAMCs than VAMCs made to Vet Centers. Therefore, the Committee recommended that VHA Mental Health establish a standardized referral procedure to Vet Centers. VHA concurred with the recommendation in principle but cited lack of access to electronic medical records at some Vet Centers made it difficult to track such referrals.
VHA Manual, M–12, Part II, Chapter 4, Operational Procedures, April 21, 1992.
VA Office of Inspector General