Did you know HVAF has a full-time therapist?
HVAF strives to provide essential wrap-around services for Hoosier Heroes in need – including mental health services. Mental health assistance for veterans is vital. The Veterans Crisis Line, managed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, reported a record number of calls in March 2023. The suicide hotline received over 88,000 calls, texts, and chats seeking assistance—that’s almost 3,000 calls every day!
Realizing that the presence of mental disorders (substance-related disorders and/or mental illness) is the strongest predictor of becoming homeless after discharge from the military, HVAF offers intensive therapy services through a full-time Licensed Mental Health Clinician and three full-time peer mentors.
Kascha – HVAF’s therapist – provides intensive individual therapy including individual and family counseling, substance abuse psycho-education, sexual trauma counseling, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder treatment, and suicide prevention.
HVAF is thankful for the Colts’ Kicking the Stigma Initiative – as the therapy program would not be possible without their support.
Army veteran Mike and Navy veteran Al are both previously homeless veterans who have been staying in HVAF’s transitional housing for a few months. As they are trying to get back on their feet, they receive help with their mental health from Kascha.
“It’s amazing how people can make you feel. Some days I go in for a meeting, and I’m feeling not so good. By the time I leave, I’m feeling great,” Mike said. “She’s just always there to help and listen. Sometimes people need someone to do that. And she’s there for that.”
After experiencing trauma from being let go from his job, Al’s case manager suggested for him to receive help for his mental health.
“It’s nice, she’s a great sounding board,” Al said. “I’m just grateful for her.”
Kascha has been with HVAF for seven years, with the last six months serving as the full-time therapist. Her years of serving HVAF’s veterans have prepared her to understand the importance of addressing their mental health as it can hinder them from a life of self-sufficiency.
“A lot of our veterans don’t want to appear as though they need help. They’ve always had an image of being strong, they’re people who have defended our country and so to say I need help, a lot of them don’t want to because of that negative stigma that’s attached to it,” Kascha said. “Veterans in particular have a lot more stressors. They’re exposed to more trauma than the average person. There is nothing wrong with seeking out help. It doesn’t mean that it’s a weakness it just means that you’re human.”
You can ensure veterans like Mike and Al receive the necessary wrap-around services by making a financial, tax-deductible donation today:
If you are struggling with your mental health and/or in crisis, please call 9-8-8 and press 1 or text 838255.