September 2020
How are you dealing with uncertainty this back-to-school season?

There is so much uncertainty surrounding going back to school this year, which can contribute to feelings of anxiety in both students and their families. What strategies can we use to manage this?

One thing you can do is to acknowledge the uncertainty and focus on what you can control.

Everyone is experiencing unique challengesfrom veterans attending college for the first time to military families with kids and teens in school.

This month, we're sharing tips from our clinic for this unprecedented back-to-school season.

We hope these ideas about building connections and creating structure help start the discussion in your family or inspire you personally to create strategies for navigating the challenges of the 2020 school year.
by Clinic Director Dr. Amy Williams

Veterans are often transitioning into civilian life at the same time that they are using their education benefits to return to school or attend college for the first time. For veterans who are making that transition now, it is complicated by the current pandemic. 

While there are the usual challenges with higher education like finances or adjusting to the academic workload, one of the biggest can be isolation and loneliness.  

Creating a social support network is a necessary and often difficult step to attending school. This applies to all college students. However, most veterans are accustomed to the military culture and the camaraderie associated with military service. 

Finding that kind of connection in the civilian world can be tough—especially if you are suffering from physical or emotional injuries related to service. Here are some strategies to set you up for success:

  • Be intentional in building relationships with other students through campus organizations or study groups.

  • Try attending virtual social events, seminars, book clubs—anything that increases your chances of connecting with other students if in-person activities are not possible in your area.

  • Maintain established friendships with people in your unit, and lean on each other for support to fill the gap while you are seeking out new friendships.

  • Find out if your college has a veteran resource center or a Student Veterans of America chapter (
Whether learning is in-person, virtual, or a combination of both, no one knows for sure what this school year will look like.

From young children to teens to college students, here are some tips for families to create structure during this time of uncertainty.

5 Ways to Create Structure This School Year
  • Think outside the box when setting up a virtual classroom. Virtual learning lets you set up a classroom or study space wherever it works for your family. Some students function best at the dining room table, free of distractions. Others do better in a room where they can have music playing in the background or the family dog sitting nearby.

  • Schedule learning during the most productive times for your family. Not everyone is most productive first thing in the morning. Distance learning allows children, teens, and college students the flexibility to work on more challenging assignments whenever they are more focused.

  • Use tangible objects to help kids focus. For younger children with a lot of energy, give them tangible objects like fidget toys to absorb energy and reduce the urge to squirm.

  • Set boundaries with college students. With college students living at home again, this creates a new dynamic with the parent/child relationships. Have open conversations with your child about boundaries at home, and acknowledge the independence they gained since the last time they lived with you.

  • Plan school and work transportation in advance. With more family members at home, there may be new challenges with transportation when multiple people are sharing one or two vehicles to go to school or work. Communicate early and often about transportation needs to create a plan.

And finally, remember that our Cohen Clinic is available to help you through these uncertain times. Feel free to contact us for therapy or resources anytime!
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
In these times of physical distancing, many of us are disconnected from our usual social activities, family and friends.

A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report showed that in June 2020, elevated levels of stress, anxiety, depression, substance use, and suicidal ideation were reported by adults. 

This was especially true for young adults, Hispanic and black people, essential workers, unpaid caregivers for adults, and those already in treatment for a mental health condition.
Now more than ever, it's important to maintain connections with our loved ones and seek mental health support to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our mental health.

Did you know that the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has a dedicated Veterans Crisis Line? It's available 24/7/365.

Learn more here about how to help someone in crisis, or sign up for our Mental Health First Aid training below.

Join our Cohen Clinic in watching the documentary, "The S Word."
September 29, 9:00 AM (CT)
Virtual training course

Learn how to help someone showing signs of mental illness, substance use disorders, or who is experiencing a crisis.

Email to register.

Visit for more information.
Watch National Council COO and Navy veteran Jeannie Campbell talk about the prevalence of mental health concerns in veterans, and how Mental Health First Aid can teach others to help.
September 11, 3:30 PM-4:45 PM (CT)
Virtual event

Join the Cohen Clinic in writing encouraging notes to active duty military service members and their families.

Register for the Freedom Day Encouraging Notes session here.
September 12, 9:11 AM (CT)
Virtual or limited in-person participation at River Legacy Park, Arlington

Run, walk, or ruck in this international event to honor the fallen. All ages and abilities welcome.

Register here.
September 16, 12:00 PM-2:30 PM (CT)
Virtual event

Join us in watching a portion of the documentary, "The S Word" with discussion led by our Cohen Clinic.

Learn more on our Facebook event.

September 25, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM (MT)
Virtual seminar

Join our San Antonio Cohen Clinic as industry leader Prudential Pathways teaches healthy financial practices.

Register here or email Ben Miranda with questions.

Tuesday afternoons (11:00 AM CT) or Thursday evenings (6:00 PM CT)
Presented by Cohen Veterans Network
Register here or contact us to suggest a time that works for you.

Check out more live and recorded events at Cohen Clinics across Cohen Veterans Network on CVN Presents.


On-demand, online tutoring and homework help at no cost to eligible service members, civilian personnel, and their dependents. 

New Programs by Hope for the Warriors
Veteran service organization Hope for the Warriors has two new programs for post-9/11 Texas veterans and their families.

Apply for services at to learn more about these programs supported by a grant from the Texas Veterans Commission Fund for Veterans' Assistance:
  • Transition Critical Support Program - Short-term emergency financial assistance directly related to a successful transition into a career or completion of education.

  • Critical Care Coordination Program - Short-term financial bridge for post 9/11 veterans and their families and survivors of traumas as they navigate through long-term recovery.