Initiative Making an Impact to Improve Care for Those Who Served

As Veterans Day approaches, over 1700 service providers throughout NH have been educated about the importance of asking their clients one deceptively simple question, “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” Understanding the impact of asking this question, and knowing what to do when the answer is ‘Yes,’ is key to providers improving their care for service members, veterans, and their families.

These efforts have been successful! Service providers in healthcare, law enforcement, education, housing, and other fields, have resoundingly voiced their commitment to better serving veterans, service members, and their families! Many have already changed their intake process to ensure they better identify this population in order to provide improved services and referrals. Success stories of providers jumping on this movement and bringing hope and help to their military clients across the state are abounding, and this initiative has been highlighted by SAMHSA in a recent webinar, seen in the national VFW magazine, and been a part of national VA discussions.

Launched in July 2015, NH’s “Ask the Question” initiative is at the core of several closely interrelated statewide military/veteran initiatives focused on improving access to and quality of care to those who serve. Partnering with Dare Mighty Things to bring military culture education to these provider groups, with the Community Mental Health Centers to ensure more culturally competent clinical care, and with the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) to support military families, these projects are offering education and assistance to providers and families on how to better address the variety of challenges associated with military service.

Why is this important in NH? New Hampshire has the 8th highest per-capita veteran population in the country, with over 115,000 veterans! Though many receive healthcare at the VA, the majority receive care from civilian providers. It is therefore critical for civilian service providers to identify the veterans they are serving to better meet the unique needs of this population, especially since many service members, veterans, and their families do not identify themselves.

Easter Seals is carrying out the direct local outreach and education to a wide range of providers statewide through an inter-agency partnership that includes the Family Resource Center at Gorham and the statewide network of ServiceLink Resource Centers. “Ask the Question” is an initiative of the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services in partnership with NHCarePath.

Select your profession to see how:

By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” senior services professionals can:

  1. Help older veterans feel understood and respected for their military service
  2. Make effective referrals to Veteran-specific programs and resources
  3. Help military widows access survivor benefits
Click here to learn how

By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” children’s services professionals can:

  1. Help a student thrive when a parent is deployed
  2. Support families facing deployment and reintegration
  3. Improve peer sensitivity to military children
Click here to learn how

By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” employment and vocational services professionals can:

  1. Identify a warrior’s transferable skills
  2. Connect Veterans to military-friendly employers
  3. Help a returning Service Member access veteran job training programs
Click here to learn how

By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” faith-based professionals can:

  1. Identify families in need of extra help during deployment
  2. Motivate communities to come together on behalf of those who serve
  3. Connect military families to the supports and services they need
Click here to learn how

By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” healthcare and medical professionals can:

  1. Build critical rapport with a reluctant patient
  2. Understand the relationship between military experiences and medical symptoms
  3. Provide effective referrals and resources
Click here to learn how

By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” higher education professionals can:

  1. Help a warrior acclimate to a civilian learning environment
  2. Improve peer sensitivity to veteran classmates
  3. Effectively accommodate service-connected disabilities
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By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” housing services professionals can:

  1. Identify families that qualify for Veteran-specific housing programs
  2. Address service-related barriers to stable housing
  3. Provide effective referrals and resources
Click here to learn how

By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” law enforcement professionals can:

  1. Keep veterans and their families safe
  2. Build trust and rapport in difficult situations
  3. Partner with providers who help Veterans in crisis
Click here to learn how

By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” legal services professionals can:

  1. Support justice-involved veterans
  2. Identify legal challenges related to military service
  3. Link to effective resources
Click here to learn how

By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” mental health professionals can:

  1. Build critical rapport with a reluctant client
  2. Understand the impact of military stressors on mental health and substance use
  3. Help a family understand the emotional effects of deployment on the whole family
Click here to learn how

By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” social services professionals can:

  1. Engage reluctant Veteran clients
  2. Meet a military family’s unique needs
  3. Coordinate services between veteran and civilian providers
Click here to learn how

By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” women’s services professionals can:

  1. Partner with veteran service providers in crisis situations
  2. Identify deployment-related triggers and risk factors
  3. Identify individuals affected by Military Sexual Trauma (MST)
Click here to learn how
Call Us (844)-4ASKVET
Email Us AskTheQuestion@eastersealsnh.org