Events in Afghanistan have local veterans reaching out for help


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Robert J. Dole VA has seen an increase in veterans reaching out for support the past few days.

Many are having flashbacks, bringing back emotions they had while serving.

The VA is working to handle the influx. They have doubled the access in their walk-in clinic and have added more therapists. They have also started a new drop-in group and drop-in call option.

The VA says it is seeing more than just Afghanistan veterans seeking extra support.

“Individual therapists have seen just veterans reaching out to say ‘I haven’t talked to you for a long time, but I need to now,’ I would say. We have had a significant amount of that just in the last few days,” said Misty Lester, the associate chief of staff of behavioral health at Robert J. Dole.

The drop-in group is every Friday from 9 to 10 a.m. at the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center located at 5500 E Kellogg Ave in building five, room 102.

The drop-in telephone group is Monday through Friday from 3 to 4 p.m. Veterans can call in to (872) 704-0185 with the access code 892 714 180#.

The walk-in clinic is open in BH from 8 to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Therapists are available to veterans as needed.

If you are a veteran and having thoughts of suicide, you can call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and then press one. You can also click here.

For emergency mental health care, veterans can go directly to the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center’s emergency department that is open 24/7, regardless of their discharge status or enrollment in other VA health care.

The Wichita Vet Center is located at 393 N. McLean Blvd. It is open Monday through Friday, 8 – 5 p.m. Veterans can discuss how they feel with other Veterans in the community-based counseling centers. Seventy percent of Vet Center staff are Veterans.

Directions to Robert J. Dole Department of Veterans Affairs Medical and Regional Office Center can be found here

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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