“Veteran suicide is a national public health crisis,” said James Corbin, clinical director of the Family Center at Temple University Harrisburg. “With the war on terror, U.S. veterans have been operating under impossible rules of engagement that are unlike any other war we’ve ever fought.”
Every day, at least one veteran or active service man commits suicide in this country. At the Family Center, Corbin sees a lot of Pennsylvanians who have served in the Pennsylvania National Guard, a voluntary organization that can summon its members for battle. Since 1875, PA Guardsmen have been called to active duty in more than 120 missions. In the recent Iraq and Afghanistan wars, 36 of the voluntary Guardsmen were killed and almost 300 were wounded.
“Our National Guardsmen are being asked to fight in wars as active duty service members. They have faced multiple deployments, and yet when they come home they aren’t attached to a military base where they might have access to clinical and mental health services or counseling. They return to civilian lives in our communities and are expected to reintegrate almost immediately.”
The Family Center provides low to no-cost counseling to military members and National Guardsmen, their family, and their children. The center also provides education for those who are giving care to the community but may not have the knowledge or experience to service military families.
Corbin has been instrumental in creating a Certificate in Military Counseling (CMC) with Temple’s School of Social Work to train providers who may be serving veterans. The certificate will be offered starting in the fall of 2015 and will be taught in an online, interactive environment.
“We hope to provide an understanding of the unique challenges facing veterans and how to address those challenges,” said Corbin.
For more information about the Certificate, please contact James Corbin.