United States - Department of Veterans Affairs:
Veterans Benefits Administration Office:
Hartford Regional Office - 555 Willard Avenue,
Newington, CT 06111
For additional information, please visit the
The following Service Organizations are located at the Regional Office:
American Legion - Room 3132
Paul Pobuda, Service Officer - (860) 594-6600
Disabled American Veterans - Room 3127
Allen Gumpenberger, Service Officer - (860) 594-6612
Veterans of Foreign Wars - Room 3133
Glenn Tewksbury, Service Officer - (860) 594-6608
Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs - Room 3128
Nicholas Oshana, Service Officer - (860) 594-6604
Military Order of the Purple Heart - Room 3136
Stanley Trela, Service Officer - (860) 594-6648
Veterans Health Administration Offices:
VA Medical Centers:
Newington Campus - 555 Willard Avenue,
Newington, CT 06111
West Haven Campus - 950 Campbell Avenue,
West Haven, CT 06516
Phone: (203) 932-5711
Community Based Out Patient Clinics:
Danbury - 7 Germantown Road,
Danbury, CT 06810
Phone: (203) 798-8422
New London - 15 Mohegan Ave,
New London, CT 06320
Phone: (860) 437-3611
Stamford - 1275 Summer St, Suite 102,
Stamford, CT 06905
Phone: (203) 325-0649
Waterbury - 133 Scovill Street,
Waterbury, CT 06706
Phone: (203) 465-5292
Windham - 96 Mansfield Street,
Willimantic, CT 06226
Phone: (860) 450-7583
Winsted - 115 Spencer Street,
Winsted, CT 06908
Phone: (860) 738-6985
Norwich - 2 Cliff St.,
Norwich, CT 06360
Hartford - 25 Elm Street, Suite A,
Rocky Hill, CT 06067
New Haven - 141 Captain Thomas Blvd.,
West Haven, CT 06516
State of Connecticut - Department of Veterans' Affairs:
287 West Street - Rocky Hill, CT 06067
Veterans Info Line
State of CT Military Support Program
Operated by DMHAS; Director: Jim Tackett
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: Since 2007, MSP has provided an array of behavioral health services to Connecticut’s Citizen Soldiers and their family members. The central feature of the MSP program is a statewide panel of over 375 licensed clinicians who provide free, confidential outpatient counseling services to reserve component service members, veterans and their family members (spouse, children, parents, siblings, significant others). The clinical panel is managed through a contract with an administrative service organization (ASO) -- Advanced Behavioral Health, Inc. MSP services are accessed through a 24/7 toll-free Call Center.
The MSP panel provides counseling in matters relating to depression, anxiety, marriage and relationship issues, the special needs of children and adolescents, stress related to deployment, service in a war zone, and homecoming. In addition to outpatient counseling, MSP provides outreach; intensive case management; information, referral and advocacy; and transportation services (livery and gas cards).
In March 2009, the MSP Embedded Clinician Program was established in partnership with Connecticut’s Adjutant General, Major General Thaddeus Martin. Today, twenty-four MSP clinicians serve as Behavioral Health Advocates within Guard Units affected by deployment(s) in Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom. These embedded clinicians provide deployment health education to service members and their families and serve as key points of contact for behavioral health services.
Connecticut is unique in that no other state in the country provides free, statewide counseling services to its Citizen Soldiers and their families. Also, no other state has established a program that embeds civilian clinicians within National Guard Unit’s at the Company level.
BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES PROVIDED BY MSP:
-OUTREACH specifically focused within the National Guard and Reserve Communities
-24/7 CALL CENTER to assure timely and appropriate access to services
-EMBEDDED CLINICIAN PROGRAM where MSP clinicians, serving as Behavioral Health Advocates, lead Service Members and families in open, honest discussion about deployment health issues.
-OUTPATIENT COUNSELING SERVICES that are free, confidential, locally available and exclusive to National Guard/Reserve personnel and their families
-COMMUNITY CASE MANAGEMENT SERVICES to assure timely access to appropriate services
-INFORMATION, REFERRAL AND ADVOCACY to secure the right benefits, right away
-MSP TRANSPORTATION PROGRAM statewide transportation consisting of both livery services and gas cards
-RECOVERY SUPPORT SERVICES that include access to an array of deployment health educational materials including books, DVDs and phone cards.
Veteran's Directed Home and Community Based Services Program
In FFY 2009, the Department of Social Services, Aging Services Division (ASD) submitted a proposal for a joint funding opportunity being offered by the federal Veterans Administration and the Administration on Aging to create a Veteran’s Directed Home and Community Based Services (VDHCBS) option in the south central region of the state. CT was one of 10 states selected to pilot this innovative service option designed to keep veterans in the community and out of institutions. Since that time the program has expanded into southwestern CT as well. ASD in partnership with the Agency on Aging of South Central CT (AASCC), the Southwestern CT Area Agency on Aging (SWCAA) and the VA CT Healthcare System (VAMC) is operating a consumer directed home and community based service option for veterans residing in the south central & southwestern regions of CT. Veterans served through this program have the opportunity to self-direct their own care and receive services in their home by the caregiver of their choice. The VDHCBS program is considered a new VA service option that has the potential to be integrated into the permanent menu of federal VA service offerings nationwide.
Office of Advocacy & Assistance
It is the responsibility of the Office of Advocacy and Assistance to provide assistance to veterans, their eligible spouses and eligible dependents in obtaining veterans benefits under federal, state and local laws. Connecticut employs authorized Veterans' Service Officers to assist in the following:
- Collecting and preparing data relating to benefits and services for Veterans, their spouses and eligible dependents.
- Canvassing nursing homes to determine if veterans and/or spouses are due benefits.
- Assisting in the establishment, preparation and presentation of claims pursuant to rights, benefits or privileges accruing to veterans.
- Cooperating with service organizations in disseminating information.
- Furnishing counsel to veterans concerning educational training, health, medical, rehabilitation, housing facilities and services, and employment services.
- Representing veterans before the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) concerning claims and benefits.
CT Veterans Wartime Service Medals
Are you a CT Veteran who served during wartime? Did you know that all Connecticut veterans with qualifying wartime military service are eligible to receive the Connecticut Veterans Wartime Service Medal? In order to receive the Connecticut Veterans Medal, the veteran must meet all of the following requirements:
1. Submit documentary proof of qualifying military wartime service (90 days wartime service, unless the war or operation lasted less than 90 days);
2. Submit proof of an honorable discharge from military service (or discharge due to injuries received in the line of duty) for the qualifying wartime service.
3. Submit proof that you currently are a resident of the State of Connecticut or that you were a resident at the time of your qualifying wartime service.
CT's Soldiers' Sailors' and Marines' Fund
The Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Marines’ Fund (SSMF) is an agency of the State of Connecticut established in 1919 to assist needy wartime veterans and their families. The agency is administered by The American Legion in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Connecticut General Statutes. This website contains information regarding eligibility requirements, including military service and residency, types of available assistance, and contact information.
Connecticut veterans requiring assistance may contact one of our full-time Veterans Aid Investigators or a volunteer Fund Representative serving their locality in order to discuss their situation, the assistance that we might be in a position to provide, and how they may apply. Assistance is provided for temporary periods only.
Soldiers' Sailors' and Marines' Fund
864 Wethersfield Avenue
Hartford, CT 06114-3184
Telephone: (860) 296-0719
Toll Free (CT): 1-800-491-4941
Fax: (860) 296-0820 www.ct.gov/ssmf
Resources for Veterans:
What is the National Resource Directory?
The National Resource Directory (NRD) is an online partnership for wounded, ill and injured service members, veterans, their families, families of the fallen and those who support them. Please follow this link for the webpage.
The NRD provides information on, and access to, medical and non-medical services and resources across the country which will help them reach their personal and professional goals as they successfully transition from recovery to community living. Please contact NRD@dol.gov
with questions or concerns.
Who developed the National Resource Directory?
The NRD is an online partnership of the Department of Defense, Department of Labor and Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as numerous veterans service and benefit organizations; non-profit, community-based and faith-based organizations; and academic, professional and philanthropic organizations.
What information will I find in the National Resource Directory?
The NRD connects service members and veterans to support services and resources available across federal, state and local government agencies; veterans service and benefit organizations; non-profit, community-based and faith-based organizations; and academic, professional and philanthropic organizations.
You will find information on:
- Benefits & Compensation
- Education, Training & Employment
- Family & Caregiver Support
- Housing & Transportation
- Service & Resources
Who should use the National Resource Directory?
The NRD serves:
- Service Members
- Family Members/Caregivers
- Care Coordinators
- Care Providers
- Care Partners
What are some of the features of the National Resource Directory?
The NRD provides four different ways to search for information on the site:
1. Search by keyword (for instance, "TRICARE")
2. Search by one of the six main subject areas (Benefits & Compensation, Education, Training & Employment, Family & Caregiver Support, Health, Housing & Transportation, Services & Resources)
3. Search by user (Service Member, Veteran, Family Member/Caregiver, Care Coordinator, Care Provider, Care Partner)
4. Search by location (for example, "Alabama")
What is the Wounded Warrior Resource Center?
The Wounded Warrior Resource Center provides wounded service members, their families and caregivers with information they need in the ares of military facilities, health care services and benefits. It supports access to the Wounded Warrior Center Call Center and trained specialists who are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 1-800-342-9647 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
What is the Recovery Coordination Program?
The mission of this program is to improve the care, management and transition support for wounded, ill and injured service members, veterans and their families from recovery through rehabilitation to reintegration. The Recovery Coordination and Federal Recovery Coordination Programs implement reforms to existing policy, programs and processes within and across DoD and VA.
The Recovery Coordination Program is administered by DoD and delivered through the military services' Wounded Warrior, medical and family support programs. The Federal Recovery Coordination Program is administered by the VA and delivered at Military Treatment Facilities.
Wounded Warrior Project
The mission of the Wounded Warrior Project is to honor and empower wounded warriors.
-To raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of severely injured service men and women,
-To help severely injured service members aid and assist each other, and To provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of severly injured service members.
-Fun - Enjoying what they are doing is paramount to the continued success of WWP's efforts.
-Integrity - Integrity and ethics are woven into the the core of WWP.
-Loyalty - Unquestioned loyalty to our wounded warriors provides the foundation for what WWP is as an organization.
-Innovation - WWP's growth depends on the innovative and "outside the box" thinking with regard to new programs and approaches to helping wounded warriors.
-Service - WWP strives to always provide the utmost in service to our warriors, alumni and donors.
Wounded Warrior Project began when several individuals took small, inspired actions to help others in need. One night while watching the evening news, a group of veterans and brothers were moved by the difficult stories of the first wounded service members returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq. They realized then and there that something needed to be done for these brave individuals beyond the brass bands and ticker tape parades.
The resulting objective was to provide tangible support for the severely wounded and help them on the road to healing, both physically and mentally. What had been initially viewed as a small contribution (compared with what the warriors had sacrificed while serving our country) has become WWP's signature program:"WWP backpacks delivered bedside to wounded warriors."
Wounded Warrior Project is a nonprofit organization. For more information call 1-877-TEAM-WWP or check out their website at:
American Veterans with Brain Injuries
American Veterans with Brain Injuries (AVBI) is a grassroots effort, whose mission is to offer support to brain injured American Veterans and their families or caregivers. They offer support through their web site, on line forum, live chat, advocacy, and public awareness. This web site offers personal stories, resources, and announcements of services available to these American Veterans. The AVBI on line forum is designed for questions to be asked and information shared. The AVBI live chat and peer advocacy offers personal support. The AVBI Blog hopes to bring public awareness to the many difficult issues that plague the brain injured veteran and their families. For more information go to www.avbi.org
Articles of Interest:
"Preventing Suicide Among Veterans" October 14, 2008
By Paul Quinnett, PhD, President and CEO, The QPR Institute
Recent research has shown that veterans, especially those who have
been exposed to combat, trauma, violence and death, are at an elevated risk for suicide compared to the general population, according to Dr. Mark Kaplan and as published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health in June 2007.
This elevated risk for suicide may not always be addressed by VA medical
staff focused on physical war injuries, and veterans may be reluctant to ask for help with mental health issues. Too often there is subtle discouragement in the military to seek help for psychiatric difficulties, which may lead to missed or under-diagnosis of psychiatric symptoms. For a variety of reasons, veterans not covered by the VA often seek care at community mental health centers and substance abuse treatment organizations, and so it is very important to be sensitized to the plight of our under-served veterans.
Here is what we know about veterans increased risk for suicide. Blast is the most common wounding etiology of our returning veterans with 50% to 60%
of those exposed sustaining a brain injury. Depression, PTSD and alcohol use are on the rise and common. The Simpson & Tate post-injury TBI community sample study (2002) found 23% of veterans had significant suicidal ideation and 18% had made a suicide attempt. A veteran’s lifetime risk of suicide is 3 to 4 times higher than the general population, and it is estimated that some 70% of all men in America who end their life by suicide are veterans that have served our country.
The most common causes for thinking about suicide among veterans include the onset of the symptoms of depression, PTSD, drinking too heavily and
relationship conflicts – especially if these occur together. These are treatable disorders that increase the risk of suicidal thoughts, feelings, attempts, and completions, and problems community-based mental health centers and substance abuse treatment organizations are uniquely qualified to handle. If recovery is possible, then suicide is preventable. A single veteran lost to suicide is one too many.
/fact_shts/fs_what_is_ptsd.html Feb. 2009
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can occur after you have been through a traumatic event. A traumatic event is something horrible and scary that you see or that happens to you. During this type of event, you think that your life or others' lives are in danger. You may feel afraid or feel that you have no control over what is happening.
Anyone who has gone through a life-threatening event can develop PTSD.
These events can include:
• Combat or military exposure
• Child sexual or physical abuse
• Terrorist attacks
• Sexual or physical assault
• Serious accidents, such as a car wreck.
• Natural disasters, such as a fire, tornado, hurricane, flood, or earthquake.
After the event, you may feel scared, confused, or angry. If these feelings don't go away or they get worse, you may have PTSD. These symptoms may disrupt your life, making it hard to continue with your daily activities.
How does PTSD develop?
All people with PTSD have lived through a traumatic event that caused them to fear for their lives, see horrible things, and feel helpless. Strong emotions caused by the event create changes in the brain that may result in PTSD.
Most people who go through a traumatic event have some symptoms at the beginning. Yet only some will develop PTSD. It isn't clear why some people develop PTSD and others don't. How likely you are to get PTSD depends on many things. These include:
• How intense the trauma was or how long it lasted
• If you lost someone you were close to or were hurt
• How close you were to the event
• How strong your reaction was
• How much you felt in control of events
• How much help and support you got after the event
Many people who develop PTSD get better at some time. But about 1 out of 3 people with PTSD may continue to have some symptoms. Even if you continue to have symptoms, treatment can help you cope. Your symptoms don't have to interfere with your everyday activities, work, and relationships.
What are the symptoms of PTSD?
Symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be terrifying. They may disrupt your life and make it hard to continue with your daily activities. It may be hard just to get through the day.
PTSD symptoms usually start soon after the traumatic event, but they may not happen until months or years later. They also may come and go over many years. If the symptoms last longer than 4 weeks, cause you great distress, or interfere with your work or home life, you probably have PTSD.
There are four types of symptoms: reliving the event, avoidance, numbing, and feeling keyed up.
Reliving the event (also called re-experiencing symptoms):
Bad memories of the traumatic event can come back at any time. You may feel the same fear and horror you did when the event took place. You may have nightmares. You even may feel like you're going through the event again. This is called a flashback. Sometimes there is a trigger: a sound or sight that causes you to relive the event. Triggers might include:
• Hearing a car backfire, which can bring back memories of gunfire and war for a combat veteran
• Seeing a car accident, which can remind a crash survivor of his or her own accident
• Seeing a news report of a sexual assault, which may bring back memories of assault for a woman who was raped
Avoiding situations that remind you of the event:
You may try to avoid situations or people that trigger memories of the traumatic event. You may even avoid talking or thinking about the event.
• A person who was in an earthquake may avoid watching television shows or movies in which there are earthquakes
• A person who was robbed at gunpoint while ordering at a hamburger drive-in may avoid fast-food restaurants
• Some people may keep very busy or avoid seeking help. This keeps them from having to think or talk about the event.
You may find it hard to express your feelings. This is another way to avoid memories.
• You may not have positive or loving feelings toward other people and may stay away from relationships
• You may not be interested in activities you used to enjoy
• You may forget about parts of the traumatic event or not be able to talk about them.
Feeling keyed up (also called hyperarousal):
You may be jittery, or always alert and on the lookout for danger. This is known as hyperarousal. It can cause you to:
• Suddenly become angry or irritable
• Have a hard time sleeping
• Have trouble concentrating
• Fear for your safety and always feel on guard
• Be very startled when someone surprises you
What are other common problems?
People with PTSD may also have other problems. These include:
• Drinking or drug problems
• Feelings of hopelessness, shame, or despair
• Employment problems
• Relationships problems including divorce and violence
• Physical symptoms
What treatments are available?
When you have PTSD, dealing with the past can be hard. Instead of telling others how you feel, you may keep your feelings bottled up. But treatment can help you get better.
There are good treatments available for PTSD. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one type of counseling. It appears to be the most effective type of counseling for PTSD. There are different types of cognitive behavioral therapies such as cognitive therapy and exposure therapy. A similar kind of therapy called EMDR, or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, is also used for PTSD. Medications can be effective too. A type of drug known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which is also used for depression, is effective for PTSD.