Resources for Students who are Military Veterans
Your responsibilities are not to diagnose or provide therapy; it is the development of a compassionate and forthright conversation that ultimately helps a student in trouble find understanding, support, and the proper therapeutic resources.
Each semester, students enroll or re-enroll at the University of North Florida after serving in the armed forces. Some of these students have completed their military obligations, and others are still involved with the military in some way, whether they continue on active duty or are involved with the Reserves or National Guard. Some students are very forthcoming about their veteran status and experiences, and some choose not to reveal their veteran status to faculty, staff, or other students because they believe they may be treated differently or stigmatized by political issues associated with their military service. The Military and Veterans Resource Center (MVRC) is available to all student-veterans and their dependents who attend UNF.
Facts about Students who are Military Veterans:
Students with veteran status may have complex issues related to their academic and financial relationships with the University due to federal and/or state policies. The University works with veteran students to make their transition as seamless as possible, but federal and/or state policies often make this quite difficult.
Students who are still involved with the military may be redeployed at any time (in as little as 72 hours), and so may have difficulty fulfilling their course requirements. The University's policy is to do everything reasonably possible to allow students to complete courses. Like any student, veteran students may encounter obstacles to their academic success.
These may include:
- The distraction of potential redeployment
- Financial and family demands
- Emotional and psychological traumas that result from combat experiences
- Physical injury, some visible and some invisible (i.e., a traumatic brain injury)
- Veteran students may be in need of emotional or other health-related support, but some may not be comfortable seeking this support on campus
- It is also not unusual for student veterans to be reluctant to seek any help due to the desire to be strongly self-reliant
Facts about Students who are Dependents of Active Duty Service Members or Military Veterans:
Dependents, both children and partners, of active duty service members and/or military veterans face the many challenges inherent in having a family member relocated/reassigned, deployed or return from deployment. These challenges may include increased family responsibilities, financial issues, isolation, declines in academic performance and fear for their parent's/partner's safety, which may lead to anxiety, loneliness, sadness, and a feeling of being overwhelmed. For those returning from deployment, many families must also cope with living with a parent/partner who returns profoundly changed by their deployment and/or combat experience. Studies looking at the impact of combat-related PTSD on families have demonstrated higher levels of marital problems, family violence, behavioral issues, dissociative symptoms, sexual issues, sleep disturbances and partner distress, within these families.
The bottom line is children, partners and families struggle both with changes resulting from an absent parent or partner/spouse, as well as changes when the absent service member returns. We encourage all UNF students who are dependents of military service members and veterans to come speak with us if they are experiencing any of these challenges. The Military and Veterans Resource Center (MVRC) is also available to provide support and guidance.
If you are concerned about a specific student or have any military-related questions, you may contact the Military and Veterans Resource Center (MVRC) at (904) 620-5131. Additional support for the students is available through the Counseling Center(904) 620-2602 and the Dean of Students (904) 620-1491.
Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255, Press 1