Everyone can help to better serve our veterans and their families by asking "have you served?"
Earlier identification of service members, veterans and their families allow for referrals to be made proactively prior to a crisis. This is very important as we know the more connected veterans are to services (federal, state and local) the lower their risk for suicide and other self-harming behaviors. It is as simple as asking or posting a flyer that states: "Have you or a member of your household served in the military?"
Why is this important?
Veterans, service members, and their family members do not always self-identify.
"Have you served" versus "are you a veteran" is the preferred method as it enables those who do not feel comfortable or don't identify as a veteran to be recognized.
You are likely to see veterans and even service members everywhere.
Why should you be aware?
Military service could be a significant connection point for you and the people you interact with.
Service connections could offer insight into other people's experiences and needs.
Service, deployment, military experiences and combat experiences can all have a profound impact on an individual's life and family.
Best practice recommendation- How and when of screening for military connectivity:
How to Ask: "Have you or a member of your household served in the military?"
When to Ask: Each new case or interaction. Ideally the question would be incorporated into the intake process.
Where: We encouraged organizations to post free materials within their lobbies, banners on their websites and have business cards available in high trafficked areas.
Next Steps: Take the pledge, become a MI Veteran Connector.
To show your support for Michigan veterans, take the pledge to ask your patients, clients, or customers if they served. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more and to become a Michigan Veteran Connector.
MVAA is a state agency; all services are provided at no cost.