At Combined Arms, our collective hearts break for the community of Thousand Oaks, California. We, the Houston veteran community, are here to listen, support and work with their community as we all try to understand why last week a 28-year-old veteran of the United States Marine Corps chose to enter a California bar and kill 12 innocent civilians.
It is also important to Combined Arms, and our powerful community of organizations, that Houston’s six million citizens know that we are here to support, we are here to act and we are here to accelerate the positive impact of veterans on Houston.
Here are just a few examples of what we are doing to intervene before situations escalate from transition stress to mental health emergencies:
- Veterans Treatment Courts in Harris, Ft. Bend, Galveston, Brazoria and Montgomery Counties all have veteran treatment courts designed to provide a team-based approach to ensuring a veteran receives appropriate treatment for the underlying risk factors that can contribute to criminal behavior.
- Mental Health America of Greater Houston Veteran Behavioral Health Initiative (VBHI) acts as the mentoring arm for Harris County Veterans Treatment Courts and they engage justice involved veterans with peer to peer support, health and wellness and activities and connect them to supportive services through our dedicated and highly trained volunteers. They also provide behavioral health education to volunteer veteran court mentors statewide through its Veterans Court Advocacy and Mentoring Program (VCAMP) in order to better serve veterans and increase capacity for veteran treatment courts across the state.
- Combined Arms brings our 46 organizations together during quarterly collaborative committee meetings in order to review holistic data and set collective goals on streamlining service delivery for Houston area veterans and their families.
And finally, here is how you, our community of Greater Houston, can get involved:
- Engagement: Be part of the solution. Attend veteran events, mentor veterans during transition and hire veterans if you are in a position to do so.
- Awareness: Be aware of the signs of stress and know where you can refer veterans for assistance.
For more information about the 46 organizations and 250 resources available via the Combined Arms system, visit us at www.combinedarms.us.
Combined Arms would like to send out our heart filled condolences to our Team Red White and Blue family in Ventura, CA and to the families of US military veterans, Dan Manrique and Justin Meek who passed away in the Thousand Oaks shooting. Dan Manrique was the local chapter leader for Team Red White and Blue. His dedication to their program and spirit will not be forgotten.