Primary Care Behavioral Health (PCBH)
Mental Health & Behavioral Medicine
Mental Health Clinic (MHC)
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Substance Abuse (SATP)
Military Sexual Trauma (MST)
Mental Health Recovery
Depression and Anxiety
Serious Mental Illness (SMI)
Polytrauma Wellness Program
Justice Involved Veterans
Home Based Primary Care
Behavioral Health providers are concerned with helping veterans to stay well and to prevent health problems that may result from chronic stress, anxiety, or depression. A PCBH Team (Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Social Workers) is located right in the Primary Care Clinic area, often available for same-day, walk-in appointments. PCBH teams offer mental health assessment, medication management,and short-term therapy, or help with referrals to mental health specialty clinics. PCBH offers education to veterans and their families to help them manage pain, maintain health and prevent chronic illnesses.
Primary Care Behavioral Health Clinic - Austin
Primary Care Behavioral Health Clinic- -Temple
Primary Care Behavioral Health Clinic - Waco
The Mental Health Clinic (MHC) is a specialty mental health clinic offering mental health counseling, assessment, referrals, and medication management. If you have never been seen in the MHC, please ask your Primary Care provider to make arrangements for you to see a Mental Health provider. If you are already using MHC services, you may call the clinic directly to request an appointment.
Mental Health Clinic - Austin
Mental Health Clinic - Temple
Mental Health Clinic - Waco
If you are having a mental health emergency (like wanting to hurt yourself or someone else), please go to your nearest Emergency Room, or call 911, or call the Veterans Crisis Line available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255 (Spanish/Español 1-888-628-9454). Veterans press “1” after you call.
National Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-TALK(8255) (press 1 for veterans) or go to http://www.veteranscrisisline.net/
Suicide prevention coordinators and case managers work with mental health care teams to support and monitor Veterans at high risk for suicide.
A personal safety plan helps the Veteran recognize signs that often precede his/her suicidal ideas and lists strategies that help the Veteran manage those thoughts and feelings. The plan also identifies people that the Veteran can turn to for help. Safety plans are created with the mental health provider and the Veteran (including family members, if desired). This way, a plan is designed specifically for the Veteran and his/her problem areas.
Below is the contact information for your local Central Texas suicide prevention team.
Austin Coordinator: Alyssa Vougas, LCSW
Temple Case Manager: Anna Hauser, LCSW, 254-743-4928 or 254-563-9864
Temple Coordinator: Linda Methvin, LCSW, 254-743-2786 or 254-598-9819
Waco Case Manager: Rita Coker, LCSW, 254-297-5342 or 254-598-9379
Coordinator: Natalie Qualls, LCSW, 254-297-3228 or 254-733-5537
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that may sometimes result when a person experiences a traumatic event. PTSD symptoms can disrupt daily life. Symptoms include re-experiencing the trauma and emotional distancing from other people or feeling emotionally numb. Other symptoms include being irritable or quick to anger, trouble sleeping, fearfulness, substance abuse, and feelings of panic.
All VA hospitals and Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs) are equipped to treat PTSD. Central Texas offers three specialty outpatient PTSD clinics or PCTs, one each in Austin, Temple, and Waco, that specialize in the treatment of combat-related PTSD. A more intensive residential program is offered in Waco. Download the brochure for the residential program. Download the brochure for the Waco PCT (the PTSD specialty clinic in Waco).
To learn more about PTSD and the services VA offers nationally, visit the National Center for PTSD.
Substance abuse problems are common in the general public and among Veterans. When Veterans have trouble readjusting to civilian life, some turn to substances to help them cope. Persons can abuse or become addicted to alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs and misuse prescription medications. Treatments for substance abuse include:
The Central Texas Veterans Health Care System offers treatment for substance abuse on an outpatient basis and on a more intensive residential basis. Outpatient care is available at the Austin, Temple, and Waco sites. The residential program is located in Temple.
Central Texas VA offers many treatment options, but the exact type of treatment, and the length of treatment, depend on the needs of each veteran. Each veteran will be evaluated for his or her particular needs. The SATP's main goal is to help the veteran stop the destructive use of alcohol and/or drugs and to create a satisfying, productive lifestyle, without addictive substances.
If you believe that the use of alcohol or drugs, including prescription drugs, is causing problems in your life, ask your Primary Care Provider or your Mental Health Provider to make arrangements for you to see a VA Substance Abuse provider. If you are already being seen in the SATP, you may contact the clinic directly to request an appointment.
Austin SATP Clinic
Temple Clinic and Residential SATP
Waco SATP/SAIOP Clinic
MST is sexual assault during military service. It includes uninvited sexual advances or contact, or forced sex while in the military, and happens to men and women. MST can cause mental and physical problems. Every VA facility has a designated MST Coordinator who serves as a contact person
Coordinator: Catherine Cotton, PsyD., 254-743-2788
Any Veteran who was sexually traumatized while serving in the military, can receive counseling. This is true for both male and female Veterans who served in any era. Special inpatient, outpatient, and residential treatment programs are available to male and female Veterans who experienced MST, using proven medications, talk therapies, and social supports. Veterans receiving MST-related counseling or treatment are not billed for inpatient, outpatient, or medication copayments.
Central Texas VA offers a residential program to woman veterans who experienced trauma of a sexual nature, and information about the residential program can be found the Central Texas web for the Women’s Trauma Recovery Center.
Mental Health Recovery means living a satisfying, hopeful, meaningful, and contributing life, even if that life includes a Serious Mental Illness (SMI) like Schizophrenia, Depression, or Bipolar Disorder.
In the Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center (PRRC), veterans with SMI can choose from a wide variety of activities on their way to attaining a meaningful self-determined role in the community. These services focus on improving functioning and enabling veterans to lead full and meaningful lives in the community of their choice. Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Centers (PRRC) for eligible veterans provide:
If you believe that you or your Veteran may benefit from participating in this Recovery-oriented program, ask your Mental Health provider to make arrangements for you to see a clinician in the PRRC.
Temple Psychosocial Resource & Recovery Center
Waco Psychosocial Resource & Recovery Center
Depression and Anxiety are common among the general public and among Veterans. Treatments include:
If you would like to be evaluated for treatment of Depression or Anxiety, ask your Primary Care provider to make arrangements for you to see a Central Texas VA mental health provider.
Even though serious mental illnesses, like schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and bipolar disorder do not occur as often as substance abuse, PTSD, and depression, they can be especially disabling. They may occur intermittently — that is, they typically improve at some times and get worse at other times. These problems can be so severe that a veteran may lose touch with reality. VA offers a range of treatments and services for Veterans with severe mental illnesses. These Veterans typically benefit from psychosocial rehabilitation services designed to promote recovery and improve everyday functioning at home and in the community.
Treatments for serious mental illnesses include:
A Clinical Neuropsychologist works with the veteran and with other health care providers to understand how problems in the brain and nervous system affect the veteran's functioning in daily life. The Neuropsychologist may also participate in rehabilitation efforts, or in helping the veteran to learn new ways of doing daily tasks. The neuropsychology clinic accepts veterans by consultation from other providers.
The Polytrauma Wellness Program (PWP) is an interdisciplinary wellness program centered around OEF/OIF/OND veterans who have experienced mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and/or chronic pain. The program helps veterans with the memory and cognitive problems sometimes associated with these conditions. Groups of veterans begin a cohort four times per year, each cohort lasting about 12 weeks.Download the PWP brochure. The PWP accepts veterans by consultation from other providers.