A new counseling center has opened in Utah to provide mental health therapy for those who have served in the military. The center provides specialized care outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Therapist Melanie Squire has worked with active duty military members at a psychiatric hospital and with veterans at a homeless shelter. What she saw was a huge unmet need.
“Our service members deserve more than what they’ve been given in society,” Squire says. “There’s not a lot of care out there that’s specialized for them, and it needs to be specialized.”
Squire has just launched the Military and Veteran Counseling Center with two locations in Salt Lake City and Layton. She says the therapists all have certified combat related trauma training and knowledge of military culture. The center is not affiliated with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Squire says she’s heard a lot of complaints from clients about the limited care available from the VA.
“They were very frustrated at trying to get mental health care at the VA, being on waiting lists, feeling like when they went in, they were rushed in the door and rushed out,” Squire says. “50 percent of our Iraq and Afghanistan veterans that are returning are not getting the mental healthcare that they need.”
The center uses a sliding pay scale for those without health insurance. There’s also free care available for those who are homeless. It's paid for through state and federal funds.