Erie VAMC launches social support groups for veterans
Following their recent drive-thru testing site, The Erie Veterans Affairs Medical Center announces additional efforts
The Erie Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) announced Wednesday that they will offer social support groups by phone and video for senior veterans beginning the week of April 20.
The support groups will be led by Erie VAMC social workers and offered at multiple times on a weekly basis, so veterans can join in at any time. They will run for approximately 8 weeks.
In a release sent out Wednesday, Amanda Merski, Erie VAMC Chief of Social Work said, "We recognize that many of the Veterans, especially our older population, may be feeling worried, sad, or isolated as a result of the current restrictions that are in place. We want veterans to know they are not alone; our team is here to help."
Groups aim to increase social support during isolation, teach anxiety and depression management techniques, and provide information and prevention strategies related to COVID-19.
For veterans interested in joining a social support group or receiving more information can call (814) 860-2227.
In addition to the groups, the Erie VAMC drive-thru testing site is now open and available for veterans by appointment. Veterans are able to be tested if they meet the testing criteria and have an order from a VA provider.
Veterans experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms can call 814-868-8661 and press 3 for the Ask a Nurse line, or use Telehealth to virtually meet with a medical professional.
The VAMC also asks that its members pay their bills by phone, mail, or online to avoid contact with the center, and as always, to follow the CDC guidelines to stay safe and healthy.