Training in the armed services provides increased confidence and skills that translate to many areas of a person’s life. Our student veterans bring unique strengths to a college campus. However, a number of veterans are presented with different challenges upon beginning or returning to college. Among the unique concerns for student veterans include feeling misunderstood and out of place given difference life experiences, adjusting to changes from military to civilian life, and being alone without a sense of camaraderie. Some symptoms that many people struggle with overall, such as having intrusive thoughts from experiencing significantly difficult situations, trouble focusing or sleeping, isolation, increased drinking or drug use, lacking motivation, or having thoughts of ending your life, may warrant additional support to help meet the goals and missions student veterans have set out to accomplish. We recognize that seeking support can be difficult and yet developing and maintaining connections with others is an important part of readjusting and coping with the stress of this transition.
Providing support to, and camaraderie among, our student veterans is very important to our campus and we at the Counseling Center are a piece of the support system available. We house the value of supporting the holistic development of our veterans to assist them in attaining their academic and career goals. Our center has a number of behavioral specialists on staff, many of whom have undergone specialized training in the unique needs of student veterans and the military culture. Our staff provides consultation services to our student veterans to discuss any concerns they may be having and to jointly create a plan of action to address these concerns. If you are interested in scheduling an initial consultation appointment please contact us at 704‑687‑0311.
Our center also runs a discussion group designed specifically for student veterans. This group will meet on Weddnesdays from 1:00 PM -1:50 PM September 16 – December 9 in the VSSO (Veteran Student Services Office Lounge in Barnard 106) in the fall semester. Please contact our center for more information regarding participation in this group.
The Counseling Center also works closely with other departments and centers on campus who are available to offer support to meet the important needs of student veterans. We know that when student veterans are supported by their colleges and universities, they in fact have higher grades, retention, and graduation rates than those of their peers, as demonstrated by a recent study in 2011 by Operation College Promise and the Pat Tillman Foundation (Interestingly, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte was among the seven universities chosen for this study). Therefore, a number of offices on campus are here to support the various needs of student veterans and include:
Veteran Student Services Office – Barnard 103, 704‑687‑5488, veterans.uncc.edu
Office of Registrar & Veteran Benefits – King 141, 704‑687‑5488, registrar.uncc.edu/VA
University Center for Academic Excellence – Fretwell 330, 704‑687‑7837.
There are also a number of community and online resources that are designed to support student veterans:
Military Service Mobile Resources
T2 Mood Tracker (http://t2health.org/apps/t2-mood-tracker)
PTSD Coach (http://t2health.org/apps/ptsd-coach)
Operation Reach Out Suicide Prevention (http://militaryfamily.com/downloads/apps/military-suicide-prevention-operation-reach-out/)
Charlotte / North Carolina Community Resources:
Mecklenberg Veteran Services Office – 700 North Tryon Street 704‑336‑2102
NC Operation Homefront – www.operationhomefront.net/nc 800‑825‑1097
NC Outward Bound Society for Veterans (http://www.ncobs.org/veterans)
*More Resources can be found at veterans.uncc.edu
Half of Us Veterans Resources (http://www.halfofus.com/veterans/)
Student Veterans of America (http://www.studentveterans.org/)
National Center for Telehealth & Technology (http://t2health.org/)
Defense Suicide Prevention Office (http://www.suicideoutreach.org/)