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Veteran Sponsorship Initiative

Transitioning out of the military can be a challenging experience associated with stressors, decreased social connections, and increased risk for mental health problems. The Veteran Sponsorship Initiative (VSI) is an evidence-based program designed to reduce these stressors by matching transitioning service members with a community-based sponsor who helps them rejoin their civilian communities by assisting with housing, employment, educational opportunities, and access to mental health support.

VSI is a public-private partnership of the Department of Veteran Affairs, the Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of Labor, national nonprofit organizations, and numerous community-based organizations. VSI is co-directed by the VA VISN 17 Center of Excellence for Research on Returning War Veterans and the VA VISN 2 Mental Illness, Research and Education Center. These VA centers are leaders in developing and evaluating innovative treatments and training clinicians and community providers to address healthcare needs in active duty servicemembers and Veterans.

VSI Servicemembers If you are a Servicemember or Veteran looking for assistance in your new hometown, click here
VSI Sponsors If you are a interested in helping a Servicemember in their transition to civilian life, click here
VSI Partners If you are a Community Organization with expertise in assisting Veterans, click here

Hannon Act

The VSI is aligned with Section 101 of the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act which provides for the provision of care for Veterans during their first-year after military service. This population is vulnerable to suicide, as Veterans experience a threefold increase in rates of suicide during the first year after military service compared to other Veterans. The youngest Veterans are at the highest risk of suicide as their rate of suicide has doubled over the last 13 years. Research suggests that the VSI may help reduce psychological pain and increase social connectedness in Veterans, thus decreasing the risk of suicide.

For More Information

Please see our Links page for additional information about the Veteran Sponsorship Initiative and a sample of the research conducted.

VISN 17 Center of Excellence
Veteran Sponsor Partnership Network ETS Sponsorship