There are thousands upon thousands of veterans in need of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical and mental health care programs. For one reason or another, however, the VA cannot reach these veterans. Other veterans are completely unaware of the help the VA can offer and still others simply refuse to seek out the help they need. If the VA cannot get the veterans to come to them, the VA will go to the veterans.
The best way to get information to people is through a medium in which they trust. A new study suggests for many veterans, one of the best ways mediums may be through their local, neighborhood Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) bartender. Many bartenders have more access more often to veterans than their family members and they have this access in an environment where the veterans are comfortable opening up to them about their problems in ways they won’t with their families.
Bartenders may be in the best position to get a feel for the mental state of the veterans they come into contact with on a regular basis. In theory, those bartenders could then point the veterans to VA health professionals. While certainly not trained to the level of being a health professional, the training these bartenders would have to undergo would give them a basic feel for what to look for in at-risk veterans and what VA programs might be helpful.
The study focused on VFW bartenders because the VFW is an environment with many veterans who are regular customers. Of the bartenders surveyed as part of the study, many felt very close to their regular customers. With such close relationships, suggestions from “friends” about searching out help may be much more effective than anything else.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.