Bolts from the Blue 2: Supported Ed with Veterans presented by Amy Wilson and Meghan Ahern

Amy Wilson, Meghan Ahern and Donna Crossman at Bedford VAMC have been using a vocational recovery approach – specifically Supported Education – to assist veterans experiencing psychosis to return to their education.

Amy and Meghan presented on the two key paths that have been created for veterans with psychosis to access Supported Education.

The first is called VITAL (Veterans Integrated Into Academic Leadership) and works as an outreach program to support veterans who are already engaged in academic programs. The second is called STEER (Specialized Team for Early Engagement and Recovery) and works with veterans who are receiving care at Bamford to enrol and engage with colleges.

Amy and Meghan explained that one of the benefits for veterans is access to education. The STEER and VITAL programs are ensuring that a group of veterans who may otherwise not be able to take advantage of this benefit, can engage with and succeed in their studies.

A question put to Amy and Meghan was: What type of training do staff receive specifically related to providing supported education?

Meghan answered:

We train our clinicians to utilize a recovery oriented approach and we are actually in the process of validating a manual for supported education with Veterans (adapted from our manual for supported employment with veterans). We are near the end of our recruitment and hoping to publish our findings in 2019/2020.  All clinicians are given a draft of the manual and review it with their supervisor prior to engaging student veterans in the community.

The presentation slides are here.

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