The Steven A. Cohen Military Clinic celebrated its one-year anniversary on April 13 with a 5K run, part of a national event to raise awareness about the problem of veteran suicide. The Cohen Clinic opened in March 2018 and is located in Greenwood Village, about 15 minutes from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.
“We chose the ‘Run as One’ event because we care about addressing the issue of veteran suicide, and we want to raise awareness about the issue of suicide within the community,” said Gillian Kaag, director of the Cohen Clinic. Additionally, at the one-year celebration, the Colorado Veterans Project presented the Cohen Clinic with a $10,000 donation, which will be used to expand access to care for veterans and their families.
“This donation will support the clinic’s priority on working to remove barriers to care so that veterans and their families can get the critical care they need,” Kaag said.
Medal of Honor recipient and Cohen Veterans Network ambassador Kyle White attended the celebration as the special guest of honor.
Providing low- to no-cost care
Working in relation to the core services offered by the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Depression Center at CU Anschutz, the Cohen Clinic provides confidential, compassionate and personalized mental health care to post-9/11 veterans, National Guard and Reserves and their family members at low to no cost.
The Cohen Clinic represents a $9.8 million partnership between the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and the Cohen Veterans Network, a nonprofit philanthropic organization. Steven A. Cohen, a philanthropist and successful hedge fund manager, created the Cohen Veterans Network in 2016 to establish 25 clinics by 2020 across the United States in areas with a high population of veterans. In Colorado alone, there are currently 60,000 post-9/11 veterans who reside in the state.
There are currently 11 clinics open, with 14 set to open by the end of 2019.
“It is exciting to be connected to the local community and the broader mission of bringing access of low-cost, high-quality mental health care to veterans and their family members,” said Holli Keyser, communications and marketing manager for the Cohen Clinic.
A year of accomplishment
The Cohen Clinic has served 240 clients over the past year, with 57 percent being veterans and 33 percent being family members. The clinic is focused on removing barriers to mental health care, offering transportation to appointments, childcare in the clinic and financial assistance through the Cohen Veterans Fund.
Additionally, the Cohen Clinic offers telehealth appointments — face-to-face counseling online, which allows veterans and their families to get the critical care they need, particularly in rural or underserved areas across Colorado.
“Our team is dedicated to the mission to save lives, save families and save the futures of post-9/11 veterans and their families,” Kaag said.
Providing outreach to the local community has also contributed to the Cohen Clinic’s success, including building a network of more than 100 referral partner organizations that provide services to veterans and family members.
“We have a robust outreach team to support the veteran community and ensure that organizations know we are a trusted resource for military families in Colorado,” Keyser said.
Whole mental health
The Cohen Clinic provides services for behavior health challenges such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, sleep problems, anger, grief and loss and transition issues.
However, the Cohen Clinic not only focuses on evidence-based mental health treatments and prevention, but also provides education and training, family support, case management as well as helping clients transition into civilian life.
“Military families can connect with our clinic at multiple places of health, and we offer trusted help and resources for the community locally and throughout the state,” Keyser said.
The design of the clinic also contributes to providing whole mental health care, helping clients and their families feel at home when they visit. Original artwork created by local veterans hang on the walls, and the quiet environment provides a soothing feeling from the moment someone enters the clinic.
“We have an intentional design of the clinic: a calming environment and relaxing therapy rooms for our adult clients, children and teens,” Keyser said.
For more information about the services offered at the Cohen Clinic, please visit its website.
Guest contributor: Story by Katherine Phillips