Counseling and Wellness Program Manager
Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs
July 2018 - June 2019
140 Veteran Peer Mentors trained at 13 locations
The Mission of the Washington State Veterans Peer Corps is to support, encourage, and empower those who served through local, community based, peer mentorships.
What is a Veterans Peer Corps Mentor?
Many veterans have a need for support services, including peer-to-peer interaction and connections. Some veterans need to talk about their experiences with combat, deployment, or other situations experienced during their time in the military. Often, there is no better person to talk about these experiences with than another veteran. This is exactly what the WDVA Veterans Peer Corps does. A Veterans Peer Corps Member is a veteran, or a veteran’s dependent, who receives training and certification and then serves as a peer mentor by facilitating meetings and activities. The Veterans Peer Corps gives veterans places to gather, share experiences and stories, heal together, and ultimately create a sense of a Veteran Community within their own community.
- Build community-based programs that connect veterans from a variety of eras and backgrounds to each other
- Create opportunities for veterans to gather and participate in activities
- Provide training for veteran peer mentors and equip them with information about veterans resources in their communities
- Empower veteran peer mentors to facilitate group and individual mentoring sessions
- Build camaraderie and trust through ongoing coaching, training opportunities, and support forums
- Veterans Peer Corps Mentors will work with veterans both in groups and individually to:
- Create opportunities to give back and be involved with their communities
- Create a safe local group setting where veterans can share military stories and experiences
- Participate in activities together and find common interests
- Assist with transition from the military to civilian life
- Provide referrals to local, state, and federal benefits and resources
Are You Interested in Becoming a Veterans Peer Corps Mentor?
Here’s what it takes:
- 8 hours of training, which leads to certification as a WDVA Veterans Peer Corps Mentor
- A commitment to volunteering 4 to 6 hours per month
- The determination to turn your passion into mentoring activities, such as:
- Outdoor events
- Meeting with groups or individuals
- Gaming (video or tabletop games)
- Coffee shop conversations
- You will also receive support from your Washington State Department of Veteran Affairs in the form of:
- Ongoing training and updated information on supportive services for veterans;
- Direct referrals to WDVA programs like the Veterans Innovations Program, Traumatic Brain Injury Program, Post-Traumatic Stress Counseling, and connection to Veterans Benefits Specialists.
- To sign up, or to receive more information Contact Bryan Bales at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-725-2237.