Court Con Makes News Around the World

Last week, millions around the globe were exposed to Veterans Treatment Courts for the first time as Justice For Vets’ Vet Court Con garnered unprecedented local, national, and international media coverage.

From live coverage on CSPAN to in-depth stories from ABCCBSCNNThe Washington PostAssociated PressStars and Stripes, and the BBC, each story highlighted the life-saving work of Veterans Treatment Courts and need to expand these vital programs throughout the nation. Click here for a look at the incredible media coverage for Vet Court Con.

Justice For Vets’ inaugural Vet Court Con concluded on December 5, 2013 marking the closing of the nation’s first conference exclusively dedicated to Veterans Treatment Courts. Nearly 1,000 attendees were on hand for the historic event which featured 104 training sessions spanning over 200 hours of education. Highlights included United States Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary General Eric Shinseki andChairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey, each delivering powerful keynotes demonstrating their support for Veterans Treatment Courts; General Barry McCaffrey (ret.), Major General Butch Tate, Colonel David Sutherland (ret.) and General Counsel Will Gunn; and the swearing-in of 89 volunteer veteran mentors who completed a two-day mentor boot camp to become the first graduating class of theJustice For Vets Mentor Corps!

We are grateful to the TN Administrative Office of the Courts and the Knox County Drug Court for funding three (3) of our Veterans Treatment Court Committee members to attend the inaugural Veterans Treatment Court Conference.  Our three (3) members, Dean Powell, Frank Vollmer and Ed Junod graduated the boot camp!  Congratulations Dean, Frank and Ed.  You are now members of an elite Corps; the Justice For Vets National Mentor Corps. Anyone remember boot camp?

Warning: VA ID Cards Are Easily Scanned

Anyone with a smartphone and a bar code app can scan any Department of Veterans Affairs identification card issued since 2004 and the cardholder’s Social Security number immediately pops up on the screen. The Department of Veterans Affairs published warnings about the veterans information cards (VICs) on their website in 2011 and again in July, 2013. The alert states, “Some barcode readers, including those available as applications on cell phones, can scan the bar code on the front of the card, and reveal the veteran’s social security number.” VA has begun to work on a new type of card, which will not contain a Social Security number. Meanwhile, veterans should treat their current ID cards as just a careful as they do their Social Security card to prevent identity theft.  Frank Vollmer has listed a YouTube video link from a special Florida TV investigator; please click the link below if you want to view it.

VA Mental Health Specialty Therapy Services at the William C. Tallent Outpatient Clinic

Click here for more details and schedules   (865) 545-4592, Ext. 4259

Mental Health Specialty Therapy Services      

1.  Skill-Buidling Classes

2. Brief Individual Counseling

3.  Family and Couples Counseling

4. Peer Support Services

Other VA Treatment Programs

1. Legacy Peer Support Group (LPG)

2.Vet Center

3.Tele-Mental Health Counseling

4. Pain Education Class

5.  Substance Abuse Tele-Mental Health Classes

6. Residential Intensive PTSD Programs

7. Mental Health Intensive Case Management

Treatment Classes

1. Aggression Management

2.    Relaxation and Mindfulness

3.    Posttraumatic Stress Group

4.    Support and Family Education (SAFE)


Peer Support Group

1.Veterans of the Sand

2.  Targerting Strengths, Debunking Myths

3.  WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) Group

4.  LGBT and Allies Veterans Group/Peer Support


New Book Provides Resilience, Mental Health Resources

From a Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences News Release.  BETHESDA, Md., Sept. 23, 2013 – The Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences here has just published a new book titled, “Disaster, Disease and Distress: Resources to Promote Psychological Health and Resilience in Military and Civilian Communities.”

Available for free download on the center’s website, the book is a compilation of fact sheets and educational resources developed over a 10-year period that address important health and mental health issues of service members and their families impacted by deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, officials said.

The resources are geared toward civilian communities around the globe affected by natural and human-made disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes and incidents of community violence, officials added.

Experts in the fields of military and disaster psychiatry developed the fact sheets, many in the immediate aftermath of specific incidents, officials said, and many address health and mental health issues related to the risks of suicide.

The book features four sections:

Caring for our Nation’s Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines: The Role of Medical and Social Service Providers, Military Family Health, Disaster Preparedness and Response and Special Populations.

Dr. Robert J. Ursano, director of the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress, said officials hope the book will have enduring value.

“Because many of the signature wounds of war — visible and invisible — persist and will affect individuals and families over time, and because natural disasters and public health threats endure, we believe these fact sheets will be useful and valuable to many audiences in the public and private sector for many years to come,” he said.