VA to Open Mental Health Center in Leesburg

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will open a “Vet Center Community Access Center” in Leesburg early next year.

U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA-10th) and Supervisor Tony R. Buffington Jr. (R-Blue Ridge) announced the plans Thursday. It will serve veterans, as well as active duty military personnel and their families.

“Currently, a Veteran would have to travel to either the VA Hospital in Martinsburg, West Virginia or a Vet Center in Alexandria to receive the same type of care that you will be able to find at the Leesburg Vet Center Access Center,” Comstock stated. She said the center would provide certified counseling services for veterans, active duty military, and their families with mental health needs.

“When we held our Veterans Jobs Fair in June, Dr. Heather West from the VA Vet Center spoke to me about the need for a Vet Center presence in Loudoun County,” Comstock said. “In less than seven months from that initial conversation we will be opening the Leesburg Vet Center Community Access Center in early 2018.” She thanked Buffington and County Administrator Tim Hemstreet and their staffs for their work helping bring the Vet Center Community Access Center to Loudoun County.

“As a Marine Corps Veteran, having known many in need of assistance, I’m extremely honored to have worked with Congresswoman Comstock, along with Vet Center and County staff, to make these much needed mental health services more accessible to Loudoun, Clarke, and Fairfax County Veterans, active duty service members, and their families,” Buffington said.

“The Vet Center staff strives to provide the best possible readjustment counseling services to our Veterans and Service member clients,” said Vet Center Director Dr. Heather West. “It is an honor and privilege to be able to do this for the Veteran community in Loudoun County.”

The Vet Center will offer a certified counselor that helps veterans and their families with mental health needs. That includes PTSD, marriage and family counseling, military sexual trauma, substance abuse, anxiety, and depression. The counselors can also help with socioeconomic issues that face the veteran community, and can help navigate the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Vet Center is a federal government program connected to the Department of Veterans Affairs, but functions as a separate entity and does not report to Veterans Administration Medical Centers. Its mission focuses on veteran needs, being integrated with the community, and being a first-rate counseling service tailored to veterans’ issues.

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