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inTransition: Helping Service Members Connect to Confidential VA Mental Health Counseling for Sexual Trauma

By Army Maj. Aimee Ruscio, Ph.D., and Dean Forest
July 22, 2019

inTransition and VA: Now connecting service members to sexual assault-related counseling at Vet CentersPHCoE graphic

Did you know that service members, including members of the National Guard and reserves on active duty, can access confidential sexual assault-related counseling services through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Vet Centers without a referral from TRICARE or a military treatment facility?

The inTransition program, most well-known for supporting service members transitioning to the civilian world, also supports service members’ access to these sexual trauma-related counseling services by providing an easy and confidential way to connect to their local VA Vet Center. Service members may self-refer to inTransition at any time with a single phone call, or providers may call on their behalf. The inTransition program is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week, from anywhere in the world.

inTransition is confidential. Program records are not accessible by DoD providers or commands. After enrolling in the inTransition program, service members are assigned a coach who will guide them through accessing Vet Center counseling, and keep in routine contact with them until they have connected with a counselor.

Community-based Vet Centers are located in easily accessible neighborhoods separate from VA organizational sites and offer sexual assault-related outpatient counseling services, which includes individual and group counseling, marital and family counseling, referral for VA benefits assistance if relevant, liaison with community agencies, and substance use information and referral. Service members can contact Vet Centers directly using the facility locator tool.

To access inTransition, call:

  • 1-800-424-7877
  • 1-800-424-4685 (international toll-free)

Learn more about inTransition on the Psychological Health Center of Excellence website.

Maj. Ruscio is an Army clinical psychologist and serves as the government action officer for the inTransition program at the Psychological Health Center of Excellence.

Mr. Forest is a public affairs consultant with Magellan Health Services for the inTransition program at the Psychological Health Center of Excellence.

Last Updated: October 29, 2021
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