Extensive family services are not offered by the VA, while our low-cost counseling, free mentorship, and workshops are open to military members and their families. SIS provides faster access to needed services, such as counseling. Wait-times for services can take nearly two years with the VA, compared to immediate responses, minimal wait times, and less paperwork at SIS.
As a nonprofit organization, it is not required, and even prohibited, that SIS share details of mental health status and treatment that could affect veterans’ military records and careers. Practicing under Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations, SIS ensures the privacy of our clients. While the VA does its best to support veterans, as a small nonprofit, SIS is able to treat each veteran and family member as an individual, not only tailoring counseling sessions, but even workshops and events to fit the current needs of our clients.
SIS acknowledges the efforts of other nonprofit organizations dedicated to serving veterans and their families, as there are organizations offering counseling, education, workforce development, housing, and other supportive services to veterans. However, there are very few who offer our comprehensive range of services under a mission focused solely on military members and their families. Furthermore, we are not aware of any other formalized program that specifically facilitates veteran and family mentor relationships here in Long Beach.
We believe that this combination of individualized clinical treatment, mentoring, and education can help veterans progress toward healing and reengagement in community life. Our staff and volunteers acknowledge and understand the sacrifices these families make, and we are passionate about doing whatever we can to meet their needs.