How to Better Serve Veterans

How to Better Serve Veterans

Smart Policy Works’ highly regarded state and national expertise informs capacity-building offerings on military culture, military sexual trauma, and supportive services for military families. These continuing education trainings and workshops are designed to teach care providers, behavioral health and legal professionals, and community members how to understand these issues and navigate public systems so they can better serve clients and their families.

The courses cover topics that are important and all encompassing when discussion surrounds the topic of how to address a veteran or service member on experiences they may have had – and making them feel comfortable disclosing and sharing that information.



How to Better Serve Justice-Involved Veterans

Nearly 5,000 prison inmates in Illinois are men and women who have served in the military. Incarceration wreaks havoc with their VA benefits. Many have mental health diagnoses or substance use disorders. About 30% have experienced homelessness. A knowledge gap on veterans’ issues, culture, and needs among community providers can keep them from being effective in helping justice-involved veterans return to the community. This free webinar series will help you gain the skills need to support these returning citizens. Note: This free series was streamed on Facebook Live July 22 to August 12, 2020, and recorded for on-demand viewing. It will be posted soon. Series details

Target audience: Case managers, social workers, criminal justice practitioners, anyone who works directly or indirectly with incarcerated veterans


IN PERSON (post-covid)

Understanding Military Sexual Trauma for Behavioral Health Practitioners

This training focuses on victim advocacy and helping a client through the “toxicity of MST.” The presentation delves into topics of PTSD, substance abuse, and suicide as links to MST and how to clinically treat those patients as well as provide helpful therapies. Participants gain a wide range of skills and take away a new knowledge about helping MST survivors in a clinical setting in order to better their daily lives. (120 minutes, 2 CEUs)

Target audience: General community members, behavioral health providers, homeless providers


Providing Grief Counseling

This workshop focuses on providing counseling to families who have lost a loved one through a military-related death. Participants come to understand the role of military culture and the impact that the abrupt removal of a military support system can have on a grieving family. The class explains the unique psychological and financial challenges faced by survivors left behind, as well as resources available to families such as line of duty compensation, services provided by vet centers, and survivor benefits for children including scholarships. (120 minutes, 2 CEUs)

Target audience: Behavioral health providers, healthcare providers, homeless providers


Empowering Your Clients

In this workshop, participants will learn how to help clients like homeless Veterans or patients suffering from depression formulate visions for the future, how to encourage clients to engage in self-advocacy, how to employ strategies to catalog critical moves, and how to help reduce isolation and increase intimacy. Life satisfaction and goal setting tools that providers can use to help clients will also be discussed with the emphasis of partnering with clients for the achievement of goals set together. (120 minutes, 2 CEUs)

Target audience: Behavioral health providers, homeless providers, healthcare providers


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