Last week, IAVA’s Rapid Response Referral Program (RRRP) team averaged nine new veterans calling for services per day, resulting in 57 new cases. The top five areas in which veterans are seeking assistance from our case managers are financial, employment, legal, education, and military families. Overall, to date we have helped 3,480 veterans and family members with transition-related issues through 5,046 referrals to quality programs.
Given the success of “American Sniper,” IAVA’s RRRP team wanted to dedicate this week’s post to helping the American public understand why the film’s character Chris Kyle, portrayed by Bradley Cooper, would pursue helping other veterans obtain mental health care. Since RRRP’s inception, 30 percent of our veteran clients have reported having a disability rating, or a pending or appealed rating. The primary reason for the majority of these ratings is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The RRRP team gets these veterans and their families into VA programs such as “Coaching into Care,” and helps veterans schedule appointments with Vet Centers across the nation. We also inform veterans of non-traditional treatments such as equine therapy, exercise therapy groups, and IAVA’s VetTogethers, where veterans can interact with their peers and build long-lasting relationships. RRRP is sensitive to the fact that “American Sniper” has the potential to activate trauma trigger points for some veterans, and we are listening for this as veterans contact us and referring to mental health treatment as needed.
Veterans and family members who use RRRP report high levels of stress when they first contact us – averaging 4.34 on a 1-5 scale in which 5 is the highest level of stress.
After using RRRP’s services, clients report a decrease in their stress level of almost one point – about 20 percent.
That decrease may be in part thanks to the outstanding service provided by RRRP’s team of Veteran Transition Managers (4.5 out of 5 average rating) and the quality of the programs to which we’re referring (4.1 out of 5 average rating).
Veterans and family members needing transition assistance can call 1-855-91-RAPID or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Everything is free, confidential, and paperwork-free.