This foundation opened a mental health clinic for military vets and their families in Virginia Beach

Cohen Veterans Network partners with The Up Center in Virginia Beach to provide mental health services for veterans and their family members. (Southside Daily/Courtesy of Harry Gerwein)
Cohen Veterans Network partners with The Up Center in Virginia Beach to provide mental health services for veterans and their family members. (Southside Daily/Courtesy of Harry Gerwein)

VIRGINIA BEACH — A nonprofit sponsored clinic with a mission to provide “high-quality, accessible, and integrated” mental health care for post-9/11 military veterans and their family members has opened its doors here.

The Cohen Veterans Network is a private nonprofit that is providing military veterans and their family members across the nation with mental health care at little-to-no cost.

CVN’s recent partnership with The Up Center brings their services here where more than 200,000 veterans and their family members across Hampton Roads can access care, said Dr. Iman Williams Christians, the clinic’s director.

“Our ultimate goal is to help veterans and military families live happier, healthier lives,” she said.

RELATED STORY: Exclusive: Take a peek inside the new free mental health clinic in Virginia Beach

Family members who are defined as the veteran’s spouse, sibling, partner, caretaker, etc. are eligible for care, according to the network.

Williams Christians said the clinicians offer “brief, client-centered therapy” for mental health issues including depression, anxiety, PTSD, adjustment issues, family issues, child behavioral problems and are “actively making an impact by removing barriers to care.”

“If you are in crisis we will see you the same day, if you don’t have a way to get to the clinic for an appointment we will provide transportation, and if you can’t find a babysitter, we will coordinate childcare onsite,” she said.

And, regardless of ability to pay, Williams Christian said CVN along with other veteran service organizations is dedicated to “filling the gap” in mental health services available for former military members with the option for Saturday appointments and ‘telehealth,’ online face-to-face treatment sessions.

The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at The Up Center will have its grand opening Tuesday with attendees like U.S. Rep. Elaine Luria, D-2nd, and Mayor Bobby Dyer speaking.

Luria is a former Navy commander.

CVN is entirely supported by Steven Cohen, a billionaire hedge-fund manager who pledged $275 million to combat PTSD in veterans.

In a recent news release, Dr. Anthony Hassan, the organization’s president and CEO, said the foundation has a goal of opening 25 clinics by 2020 — and, they’re almost there with 14 clinics opened nationwide.

For more information, or to book an appointment at the Cohen Military Family Clinic at The Up Center, click here.

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