Ohio State Veterans Affairs offers mental health and financial resources for veteran students

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Home to around 2,160 Veteran students, Ohio State’s Military and Veteran Services offers a variety of programs to help Veteran students in several areas, including mental health, finances or academics. Credit: Casey Smith | Assistant Sports LTV Producer

Although Veterans Day is just one day in a calendar year, Ohio State offers services year round for students who served in the U.S. military.

Ohio State is home to around 2,160 veteran students, Kevin Cullen, assistant vice provost and director of Military and Veterans Services at Ohio State, said. Through Ohio State’s Military and Veteran Services, there are a variety of programs to help veteran students with various kinds of mental health, financial or academic struggles.

Ohio State’s Military and Veteran Services is located at 185 Student Academic Services Building 281 W. Lane Ave. Hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The office’s phone number is 614-247-8387 and its email is milvets@osu.edu . More information is available on its website .

Mental health resources

Cullen said veterans can access a counselor who specifically treats veteran and military-connected students through the Student Life Counseling and Consultation Services, located at 1640 Neil Ave.

Students can call Student Life Counseling and Consultation Services and say they are a veteran or military-connected student. From there, the student will be redirected to Danielle Henn, a liaison for veteran students, who will make sure their appointment is given priority and can be reached at henn.81@osu.edu.

Financial resources

The Post 9/11 GI Bil l provides financial and housing support for individuals who were honorably discharged, serving at least 90 total days after Sept. 11, 2001, or who were discharged due to disability after 30 days.

The Montgomery GI Bill is for individuals who, if not a reservist, were honorably discharged and meet additional education requirements, such as having a high school diploma, GED or 12 hours of college credit.

Cullen said Ohio State’s Military and Veteran Services can provide relief depending on residency — offering an in-state tuition waiver for students who grew up outside of Ohio or whose parents are not from the state.

The Major Lawrence Miller Military Community Advocate Program connects veterans to resources to aid in academic and professional success. Cullen said the program allows veteran students to be named as one of 34 advocates to help enhance the veteran community presence around campus.

These students are on scholarship to plan events, such as concealed weapon training, resume-building classes, workshops for filling out the FAFSA, networking opportunities with companies and translating military language to everyday civilian speech, Cullen said.

For more information on the Community Advocate Program, contact Janet Steinbacher at 614-688-2060 or steinbacher.7@osu.edu.

For more information on financial support and scholarship information, contact Michael Forrest at 614-292-7047 or forrest.73@osu.edu, Shyloe Mayle at 614-292-6908 or mayle.87@osu.edu or Gina Lee at 614-292-3453 or lee.49@osu.edu.

Academic resources

Aside from a veteran’s regular academic adviser through the university, Cullen said the Military and Veteran Services office offers an additional adviser that deals solely with military-connected students.

Cullen said the adviser offers assistance in transferring credit, what to do if a reservist or guardsman gets activated during school or deployed during the semester and the effects of those events.

There are also tutors available in the Veterans’ Lounge, Jeff Simko, a sixth-year in aerospace engineering who has used the service, said. Student tutors help veterans with their coursework.

Veterans’ Lounge

The Veterans’ Lounge for students is located in room 1132 on the first floor of Smith Laboratory.

Cullen said the purpose of the lounge is for the student to decide, whether it be a place to connect and hang out with other veterans, receive tutoring in core classes or hold community events.

The lounge has a microwave, fridge, TVs, couches and storage space, according to the Military and Veteran Services webpage .

Cullen said the lounge is important for veteran students because it’s away from the Military and Veteran Services office and strictly for veteran use.

Peer 2 Peer Sponsor Program

The Peer 2 Peer Sponsor Program pairs a veteran student, especially in their first year in school, with an upperclassman veteran to help guide them through the university, Cullen said.

Cullen said the program — which receives funding from former NFL quarterback Brady Quinn’s 3rd & Goal Foundation — emphasizes the transition period between military and college because that is when dropout rates in higher education appear to be the highest.

The peer sponsor meets with their mentees once a week through face-to-face, phone or email contact, helping them adjust to the university, according to Ohio State’s Military and Veteran Services website . The goal is to provide the incoming student with access to someone who has had similar experiences to what they are going through, Cullen said.

Simko, a former sergeant in the Marine Corps, is now a peer sponsor. He said when he took advantage of the program as an incoming veteran, his peer sponsor helped him secure multiple jobs.

“She actually got me two different jobs here down in Columbus,” Simko said. “We worked together over at Texas Roadhouse, and then later, she got me in the position to be a peer sponsor.”

Information about upcoming events

Emails about upcoming military advocacy events and scholarship opportunities will be sent through Carmen Canvas, Cullen said.

Cullen said Military and Veteran Services is trying to transition away from this system and move to a bi-weekly newsletter that has a list of upcoming events and information.

Benefits beyond Ohio State

Veteran students are also eligible for the benefits offered by Veterans Affairs and the Franklin County Veteran Services Commission, Cullen said.

Cullen said the commission has an abundance of financial support, dealing closely with food insecurity, transportation, mobility or housing issues.

More information can be found on the VA’s website and the Franklin County Veteran Services Commission’s website .

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts or ideation, please reach out to a resource.

Hotlines:

  • National Suicide Prevention 24/7 Lifeline: 800-273-8255
  • Columbus Suicide 24/7 Hotline: 614-221-5455
  • The Trevor Project 24/7 LGBTQ Suicide Hotline: 886-488-7386

Text Lines:

  • National 24/7 Crisis Text Line: Text “HOME” to 741-741
  • Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services 24/7 Crisis Text Line: Text “4HOPE” to 741-741
  • The Trevor Project LGBTQ Suicide Prevention Hotline 24/7 Text Line: Text “START” to 678-678

Online Chats

  • National Suicide Prevention 24/7 Lifeline Chat
  • TrevorChat LGBTQ 24/7 Online Chat
  • IMalive Live Chat

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