The Invictus Foundation in Renton, Washington, has announced the launch of the Welcome Home Network to help address the unmet behavioral health needs of returning soldiers, veterans, their families, and the families of the fallen.
In collaboration with the Washington State Psychological Foundation and its affiliate Psychologists for Social Advocacy, the network will recruit and educate volunteer behavioral health professionals in an effort to bridge the gap in behavioral health services for veterans and military families in the Pacific Northwest. Volunteer psychologists will donate an hour each week for at least a year and provide direct services in person, by phone, or in consultation with schools and community organizations that serve the military community.
Among troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, approximately 40 percent of Army soldiers, a third of Marines, and half of National Guard members report psychological problems, yet behavioral health services are in short supply.
"We want to normalize what our military personnel and their families are experiencing and support the sacrifices that they are making by providing critical behavioral health support at no cost," said Invictus Foundation founder and CEO Peter J. Whalen. "We will be educating the military community and broader public about these behavioral health needs in hope of helping veterans keep their lives and families intact. We are in it for the long haul and are acting with the urgency this crisis deserves."