06/14/2011 10:50 am ET | Updated Aug 14, 2011

The SF VA Medical Center at the City College of SF

There's a lot of good stuff happening for veterans everywhere in the US, and a whole bunch happening in San Francisco. CCSF, the City College of SF, has a lot of students veterans, over a thousand, using the new GI Bill. They have a good student lounge, and I've written about it and my small support for it, and have asked for your help also.

Turns out, there's a great VA Medical Facility in SF, getting help directly to student veterans at their facility. (First, do me a favor, check out their Facebook page and Like it.)

... The academic counselors provide guidance regarding the student veteran's course load and on understanding and best utilizing their GI Bill benefits. The CCSF administration then asked to partner with the San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center (SFVAMC).

The SFVAMC enthusiastically responded by developing a Veterans Outreach Program (VOP) that provides a "one-stop shopping" experience at a convenient location on campus where veterans can access information, enroll in VA health care on-site, and receive on-site mental health services and assistance in navigating both VA and CCSF services. Providing mental health care on campus allows for earlier identification and treatment of mental health problems after military service/deployment, which may prevent long-term disability and improve outcomes for younger generations of veterans. Veterans with complex mental health needs are less likely to "slip through the cracks" when they have convenient access to comprehensive mental health care, including psychiatric services, on campus. In addition, the VA's location on campus de-stigmatizes mental health treatment, and may ensure that student veterans receive the services needed to achieve their academic goals.

"Our hope is to take the model that we have developed in collaboration with CCSF administration and their student veterans and replicate it in some form not only at Bay Area colleges and universities but also to colleges and universities across the country. Student veterans should have easy access to VA care", states Keith Armstrong, LCSW Director of the Veteran Outreach Program.