Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Our Story: Genuine Care Benefits My Veteran and Family

For the last year my veteran has been seeing his counselor and psychiatric nurse practitioner (NP) every other week.  They have gotten to know him, his case, and our family very well.  They have been his greatest assets and allies within the VA.  They have gone above and beyond their job description.  On multiple occasions they have seen him after hours because they noticed he was in need of help. 

My veteran had a rough time with another clinic and twice he came out of those appointments so upset he broke down crying.  By an act of God, his counselor was leaving for the evening at the same time.  He stopped to check on my veteran and took him back to talk.  He would not let my veteran leave until he was feeling better. 

These two have also been advocates for my veteran when he was having difficulty with another clinic.  They’ve done their best to get him the care he needed not only for mental health, but also his pain.  His NP has put in multiple consults for him, walked down to other clinics to get what he needed, talked to other clinics about his case, found us helpful information regarding VA resources, and has been extremely patient and innovative regarding medications for his sleep and mood problems. 

His counselor “gets him” and conducted therapy in a way that really resonated with my veteran like no other counselor has done before.  He has encouraged him to follow his passions, learn to accept his disabilities and embrace them, and taught him ways to manage his anxiety.  My veteran could not have been in better hands. 

They have not only genuinely cared for my veteran, but have helped him remarkably with his depression and anxiety.  Before these two were part of our care team, my veteran was the lowest he had ever been.  He was thinking of how he wished he would die, that his family would be better off without him, that he was worthless.  His counselor and NP worked with him to get through this and he is now feeling less depressed and no longer has these thoughts. 

They not only help my veteran, but also our family.  With less depression came more family time, more emotional closeness, and a happier home overall.  Not only is my veteran eternally grateful for these two, but I as his caregiver am as well.  I never felt like they were working against me or ignored me.  They saw me as part of his care team and included me as such.  They were willing to talk with me regarding my veteran’s care, often personally returning phone calls.  They were easy to get a hold of and always kind.  It meant the world to us to have them on our side.

To learn more about the State of Heroes and Families project, please visit our main site or visit any of the following direct project links -

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