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Civilian Health Care Agencies
Challenges in Serving Veterans
Some priority health care organizations that are not currently serving veterans in a statewide,
coordinated and comprehensive way include: Community Mental Health Centers, hospitals and private
practitioners. There are many reasons for this, including:
Perception that our military are already receiving adequate health care services through the VA
Medical Centers, Vet Centers or NH National Guard;
Not identifying veteran status during the intake or registration process;
Lack of understanding of military culture, military trauma, or the challenges experienced by
military families;
Barriers in accepting military insurance;
Barriers in partnering with the VA due to excessive administrative demands that are required
from VA Medical Centers; and
Lack of understanding on how to promote their services to veterans, service members or their
families.
Based on veteran surveys and provider feedback, we know that accessing mental health services for a
veteran can be overwhelming. Stigma was identified as the number one barrier to accessing care in the
veteran survey. New Hampshire has numerous military and civilian agencies that are working together
to better serve our military. Yet our State still lacks a comprehensive and collaborative continuum of
care system that includes:
Proactive communication and assistance for veterans in accessing appropriate care;
Coordination of the referral process and supports between agencies;
Simplification of the process in accessing that care, and
Reduction in the stigma, embarrassment and shame veterans are made to endure.
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