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Groups and Classes

There are a variety of in-person and virtual options for Veterans to live Whole Health and stay connected in their recovery. Veterans interested in attending these phone or online group can contact the facilitator of the group for more information or to register. They will either need to provide their email and phone number so they can be included on the Video Connect Group or they will be provided a call in number with a code in order to connect to the group by phone.

1:00pm – 2:00 pm.

Benefits Briefing 101   

Teach about Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), which includes;  Compensation and Pension (also called disability benefits), post 9/11 GI Bill and other educational benefits, VA Home Loan,  and the process of all benefits. 

Facilitator: Brent Haddow

To Register: Please contact Brent Haddow at 313-686-8691

Format: Cisco Webex

Click Here

Group capacity:   Open to All Veteran

10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Focus on Recovery

This is a topic-based group that looks at various components of recovery. Veterans who attend the group are expected to participate in discussions about the varying aspects of recovery. (i.e. honesty, triggers, boundaries, relapse, etc.).

Facilitator: Russell Bell, LMSW

Telephone: 269-966-5600 ext. 31634

Group Capacity: 10
 

10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Surviving and thriving through the day

This group will meet weekly to discuss the day-to-day struggles we face as we go about our daily routines.  Through the use of information on stress management, supportive discussion, and activities the group will explore how our ability to tackle the difficulties we face is impacted by our perspective.

Facilitator: Darryl Weekley

Contact: 269-966-5600, ext. 39205

Zoom group

Group capacity: 10 - Open to all Veterans enrolled at the medical center

 

10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Seeking Safety Group

This group will cover topics such as trauma, substance use, coping skills, honesty, setting boundaries, healthy relationships, healing from anger, etc. 

Facilitators: Kendra O'Keelean & Jessica Walker

Contact: 269-358-9741

Zoom group

Group capacity: 12

 

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Housing Search Group    

This group provides HUD-VASH participants who are currently searching for housing the opportunity to provide housing updates, discuss resources, and barriers as well as have any questions answered in regards to securing housing through the HUD-VASH program.

Facilitator: Mike Witt

To Register: Please contact Mike Whitt at 269-873-2226.

Format: Zoom

Group Capacity: 10 (Open to Lansing HUD VASH Veterans)

 

12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

The Weekend Check-In: Peer Support Group

Peer support groups are for people who are in mental health recovery.  In this group, you will assist each other while engaging in the recovery process as well as discuss many other benefits available to Veterans.  Groups are facilitated by Certified Peer Support Specialist(s) that help to promote self-determination and assist others in regaining control over their own lives while embracing the recovery model.

Facilitator: Reggie Howard

Contact: 269-966-5600, ext. 39209

Format: Zoom group

Group capacity: 25- Open to all Veterans enrolled at the medical center
 

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Integrated Spirituality & Recovery

Therapeutic Goals:

Integrated Spirituality & Recovery (IS&R) is the ‘Spiritual’ version of the 12 Step Program. At each step, it helps the Veteran see how embracing their higher power for long-term sobriety and abstinence from drugs, allows for a new narrative to be written in their life.


Facilitator: Chaplain Hooey

To Register: Please contact 269-966-5600 ext. 36598

Format: Zoom

Target Audience: Spirituality
 

1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Diabetes Education Class

This group is focused on education about Diabetes. Meets the First Three Mondays of the Month. Except for Holidays.

Facilitator: Andrea Garver

Contact: 269-223-5794

Format: VVC

Group capacity: Open to all Veterans and Family Members
 

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

This group will be led by a Case Manager in the HUD/VASH program.  This group is designed to be a place for Veterans to come together and discuss the barriers they have or are experiencing securing housing as well as share current resources to identify possible housing options.  Topics could range from finding affordable housing, contacting landlords, orientation material review, resource review, etc.  If you are a HUD/VASH Veteran feel free to join us using the VANTS line listed below.

Facilitator: Tyler Langoni (ext. 31726)

To Register: Please contact Tyler Langoni at 269-873-2243

Format: Zoom video & audio (phone)

Target Audience: Veterans in HUD/VASH searching or needing assistance with finding/securing housing.

Capacity: N/A 
 

3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Learning to Help Others

The purpose of this group is to educate Veterans on how they can learn peer support skills to implement support groups or how to interact with a Veteran who is struggling with recovery. The group is interactive where Veterans are expected to share and examine their own experiences with recovery to better understand how to help others.

Facilitator: Russell Bell. LMSW

Tel. 269-966-5600 ext. 31634

Group Capacity: 10

6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. **FIRST AND THIRD MONDAYS OF EACH MONTH**

Fly-Tying and Fly-Fishing 

The mission of Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing is to assist in the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active duty military personnel and Veterans through Fly Fishing and Fly Tying education and outings. All typing equipment and supplies are provided. Free to Veterans!

Facilitator: Therapeutic Recreation 

Tel. 269-966-5600 ext. 33935/33902
 

9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Moment By Moment- Women's Recovery

This is a mindfulness-based group approach to relapse prevention. This group may also be helpful for women who may have experienced trauma in their lives and are struggling with mental illness. The course is nine weeks long, however, each group session is not reliant on attendance during previous sessions. Drop-ins are welcome and no pre-registration is necessary.

Facilitator: Lisa Alicea

Contact269-967-2153

Format:  Zoom group

Group capacity: Women's Veterans

9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Anger Management

Learn about anger and how to keep yourself from making things worse when you are angry. Learn relaxation approaches, new ways of thinking, and how to deal more effectively with other people.

Facilitator: Thelmo Torrealba

To Register: Please contact Thelmo Torrealba at 517-599-4663.

Format: Video Connect

Capacity: (Open to Lansing Veterans)
 

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Relapse and Prevention group

Providing tools and strategies to help you on your recovery journey. Veterans will be presented with materials and presentations on Relapse and Prevention, Anger management, Changing Unhealthy Thinking patterns, Relationship related triggers, Changing Irrational Beliefs, and Scheduling Activities in Early Recovery.

Facilitator: Lisa Alicea, 269-967-2153.

Format: Zoom Connect

Group Capacity: Open to all Veterans

 

1:00 p.m. -2:00 p.m.

Peer Support Group

Peer support groups are for people who are in mental health recovery.  In this group, you will assist each other while engaging in the recovery process as well as discuss many other benefits available to Veterans.  Groups are facilitated by Certified Peer Support Specialist(s) that help to promote self-determination and assist others in regaining control over their own lives while embracing the recovery model.

Facilitator: Reggie Howard

To Register: Please contact Reggie Howard at 269-966-5600, ext. 39209

Format: Zoom group

Group capacity: 25

 

3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Vietnam Era PTSD

Facilitator: Christopher Thomas

Contact: 269-934-9123 ext 39613

Format:  In-Person Benton Harbor CBOC

Group capacity: N/A

 

5:00 p.m.

Integrative Restoration 

Integrative Restoration is an evidence-based, mind-body approach that offers tools to help you relax deeply, release stress, increase resiliency, improve your interpersonal relationships, and empower you to practice self-regulation and self-care to support your health & wellness. 

Facilitator: Rebecca McCullers, Louise Mahoney

Contact: 202-550-4248rebecca.mccullers@va.gov650-815-9463louise.mahoney2@va.gov

Zoom Group Group capacity: Open to all Veterans enrolled at Medical Center

9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Spiritual Fitness

Spiritual Fitness is critical to the Veteran's overall wellness. It impacts mental health, social interactions, and family relationships. This group allows Veterans a safe place to be vulnerable and open to different viewpoints and experiences. This group addresses spiritual injury, moral injury, guilt, and shame, and it provides an opportunity for Veterans to connect with their higher power as a major source of strength for long-term sobriety and abstinence.

Facilitator: Chaplain Hooey, Zachary F.

To Register: 269-966-5600 ext. 33084

Format:  Zoom group

Group capacity: Unlimited


9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Peer Support Life Skills Group

Peer support groups are for people who are in mental health recovery.  In this group, you will assist each other while engaging in the recovery process as well as discuss many other benefits available to Veterans.  Groups are facilitated by Certified Peer Support Specialist(s) that help to promote self-determination and assist others in regaining control over their own lives while embracing the recovery model.

Facilitator: Ron Henson

To Register: Please contact Ron Henson on cell phone at 269-268-0337

Format:  Zoom group

Group capacity: 20

 

2nd and 4th Wednesdays 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Vietnam Era PTSD

Facilitator: Christopher Thomas

Contact: 269-934-9123 ext 39613

Format:  In-Person Benton Harbor CBOC

Group capacity: N/A

 

Group Capacity: 10

11:00 a.m.

Women Warriors Group

This is a group that is focused on Women Veterans. It promotes a safe environment designated for our female Veterans to enhance their well-being, renew, restore and connect. 

Facilitator: Erika Rose, Susan Lee

To Register269-966-5600, ext. 33593, ext. 36363

 

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Life Skills Recovery

This is an opportunity to learn and foster daily life skills related to sustaining and strengthening recovery from addiction and/or mental health challenges. 

Facilitator: Sean Stallworth

To Register: 269-832-4001 or 269-966-5600 ext. 35631

Format: Zoom

 

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Death of a Loved One Group

Learn about the stages of grieving and the potential impacts on life during each stage. There is no pattern and the grieving process is unique to the individual. Learn to identify symptoms and characteristics within each stage and how to cope through the process.

Facilitator: Ebony Crane

To Register: Please contact Ebony Crane at 269.873.2236.

Format: Zoom

Group Capacity: 10
 

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Relapse Recovery

This is an opportunity to learn and foster daily life skills related to sustaining and strengthening recovery from addiction and/or mental health challenges. 

Facilitator: Sean Stallworth

To Register: Please contact 269-832-4001 or 269-966-5600 ext. 35631

Format: Zoom (Grand Rapids Vets)

Group Capacity: 10
 

1:00 p.m.

Codependent Peer Group

The purpose of this group is to help change codependent patterns of thoughts and beliefs.   

Facilitator: Susan Lee                  

To Register: call 269-966-5600 ext. 36363

 

1:00 p.m.- 3:00 p.m.

VA Calm: Mindfulness Meditation            

A series of groups focusing on cultivating awareness of the present moment with kindness and compassion. Through mindfulness, the group will notice, without judgment, preoccupied thought and time spent thinking of the past or the future, and work with sensory experiences to guide the mind into the present. Be prepared to learn and practice in a safe environment and take your practice with you. For all levels that bring a beginner’s mind.

Facilitator: Nicole Najar

To Register269-966-5600 ext. 32963

Format: Video Connect

 

1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Race-Based Stress/Trauma and Empowerment

A weekly group, tailored to our Veterans of color, to address race-based stress and trauma in a safe and validating environment. 

Facilitator: Cecilia Rush, Devon Clark

Contact: 269-832-8268, 269-270-7605

Online

Group Capacity: Open with a referral. 


1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Military Women’s Empowerment Group

Zoom Group focuses on issues facing today's women including topics on Addictions; trauma; relationships; sleep disorders; child-rearing; and more. A specific topic will be covered each week using videos and or handouts and time for Group support.

Facilitator: Valerie Butler

To Register: Valerie Butler, Valerie.Butler@va.gov call: 269-966-5600 ext. 31104

Format: Video Connect
 

2:00 p.m.- 3:30 p.m.

Art Group           

Now more than ever, we need to make time to be creative. From wherever you are, we are going to do art together! If you have supplies, great! You can do any project you want. You can also do crafts, knitting, whatever is your form of positive creativity! If you don’t have supplies, I can send some to you. No experience is needed!

Facilitator: Allyson Bolt

To Register: Please contact Allyson Bolt at 517-231-2735.

Format: Video Connect

8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Open Gym

Veterans have access to the gymnasium to play basketball, lift weights, or exercise on the cardio equipment.

Location: Gym  Bldg. 134

 

1st and 3rd Thursday 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Vietnam Era PTSD

Facilitator: Christopher Thomas

Contact: 269-934-9123 ext 39613

Format:  In-Person Benton Harbor CBOC

Group capacity: N/A


10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

GWOT Buddy Check

This is a check-in support group for Veterans that are currently processing current events in Afghanistan and the war on terrorism.

Facilitators: Russel Bell and Bill Valonkhuyzen

To Register: Please contact 269-966-5600 ext. 35049 or 31634

Format: Virtual or in-person

Target Audience: All Veterans

 

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Seeking Safety Group

This group will cover topics such as trauma, substance use, coping skills, honesty, setting boundaries, healthy relationships, healing from anger, etc.

Facilitators: Deb Brunner (ext. 30073)

To Register: Please contact Kendra O'Keelean at 269-966-5600, ext. 32723

Format: Video Connect

Target Audience: Residential Veterans

Capacity: 12
 

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 2nd and 4th Thursday 

Employment Support Group

This group will cover topics such as resume building (resumes that get interviews), interviewing skills, Schedule A Authority, navigating USA Jobs, Michigan Talent Bank, networking skills, understanding job postings, translating military MOS to civilian skills, available jobs in different cities (will be based on who is on the call), job fairs, etc.

Facilitator: Dwayne Kelly

To Register: Please contact Dwayne Kelly at 269-832-2854

Format: Zoom video 

Target Audience: HCHV Veterans in 22 county catchment area

Capacity: 20
 

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Substance Use Disorders (Ionia Co. Courthouse)

This group is for Veterans identified as having substance abuse disorders. CBT is a well-researched, efficacious, and time-limited psychotherapeutic approach that has been used to treat several mental and behavioral health conditions. CBT involves a structured approach that focuses on substance use disorders and relationships among cognitions.

Facilitator: Brenden Wright

To Register: Please contact Lisa Alicea at 269-873-0114

Format: Video Connect

Target Audience: Veterans in the Ionia County area seeking outpatient substance abuse treatment.

Group Capacity: Open to all Veterans
 

1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

OEF/OIF/OND PTSD Group

This group is for all Veterans who have PTSD symptoms related to their time spent in Afghanistan, Iraq, or Kuwait. This is a place to share your experiences and how you are coping with them. The group will be moderated and will include education about PTSD, anger, and the challenges of fitting back into the civilian world.

Facilitator: Thelmo, Torrealba

To Register: Please contact Thelmo, Torrealba at 517-599-4663.

Format: Video Connect

Target Audience: (Open to OEF/OIF/OND Veterans)
 

1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Nurture Parenting Virtual Group

This group is to support Veteran parents at any stage of their parenting journey. Group will look at parenting fundamentals, building communication skills, problem-solving for families, and creating a space for ourselves

Facilitator

To Register: Please contact 269-966-5600 ext. 31190

Format: Video Connect

Target Audience: (Open to OEF/OIF/OND Veterans)

1:00 p.m. -2:00 p.m.

Peer Support Group

Peer support groups are for people who are in mental health recovery.  In this group, you will assist each other while engaging in the recovery process as well as discuss many other benefits available to Veterans.  Groups are facilitated by Certified Peer Support Specialist(s) that help to promote self-determination and assist others in regaining control over their own lives while embracing the recovery model

Facilitator: Ron Henson

To Register: Please contact Ron Henson at 269-966-5600, ext. 32566

Format:  Zoom group

Group capacity: 25

 

1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Tackling the tough stuff

This is a group that will meet weekly to help each other work through problems that each of us faces every day.  It might be a difficult landlord or figure out how to cope with Depression.  Every week the group will choose a new topic to tackle together.  This is an open group to anyone in the VA.

Facilitator:  Amanda Briggs

Contact269-967-0190

Format:  Zoom Group

Group Capacity: 10- Open to all Veterans enrolled at the medical center


2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Mindfulness and Timeless Trivia              

Join this group for a little relaxation and fun! Don’t forget to bring your thinking caps.

Facilitator: Cheryl Krzeminkski

To Register: Please contact Cheryl Krzeminski at 269-986-5099

Format: Video Connect

Target Audience: All HCHV veterans


2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Advance Care Planning via Group Visits Workshop

Advance Care Planning via Group Visits is a group discussion and workshop centered on creating healthcare goals that will inform your family and providers about YOUR preferences for care.
Veterans will learn how to complete a VA Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare and Advance Directive(s), as well as, discuss stressors/barriers related to healthcare and end-of-life conversations. Available for ALL Veterans, Spouses, and their families.
Facilitator: Brandon Snyder, LLMSW
To Register: Call 269-966-5600 ext. 31978
Group Capacity: 7
 

3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Veteran and Family Council

This is a Veterans consumer council that is open to Veterans and family members. Veterans and family are invited to attend, but to vote on matters in the meeting, you will first need to become a member. The council identifies concerns and issues that Veterans experience and acts as a bridge between the Veteran and the VA in an attempt to address and improve the overall Veteran experience. The council meets every Thursday as a workgroup.
The 3rd Thursday of the month is the official meeting.

Facilitator: Russell Bell, LMSW

Telephone: 269-966-5600 ext. 31634

Group Capacity: 30

8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Open Gym

Veterans have access to the gymnasium to play basketball, lift weights, or exercise on the cardio equipment.

Location: Gym  Bldg. 134


11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Peer Support Group

Peer support groups are for people who are in mental health recovery.  In this group, you will assist each other while engaging in the recovery process as well as discuss many other benefits available to Veterans.  Groups are facilitated by Certified Peer Support Specialist(s) that help to promote self-determination and assist others in regaining control over their own lives while embracing the recovery model.

Facilitator: Reggie Howard

To Register: Please contact Reggie Howard at 269-966-5600, ext. 39209

Format: Zoom group

Group capacity: 25
 

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Communication within Relationships

Learn how to have effective communication within relationships. This can be any type of relationship, professional or personal. Communication skills will be learned based on Cognitive Behavioral principles.

Facilitator: Laura Gilley

Contact: (269) 300.-316

Zoom group

Group Capacity: 10 – Open to ALL Veterans enrolled at the medical center

 

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

8 Dimension of Wellness

The 8 Dimension model illustrates the idea that all eight dimensions are interconnected. Join us as we discuss the aspects of stress, problems, and purposes of life. 

Facilitator: Devon Clark or Valerie Butler

Contact: 269-270-7605 or 269-966-5600 ext. 31104

Zoom group

Group Capacity: Open to Veterans. 

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Spiritual Growth Bible Study

Interactive Spiritual Growth Bible Study. Come learn the meaning and message of the word and scripture, as guided by your Chaplains!

Facilitators: Zachary Hooey (ext. 36598)

To Register: Email Chaplain Zachary for the link. Zachary.hooey@va.gov

Format: Virtual (Microsoft Teams).

Target Audience: Veterans, Family Members, and Staff. 

2 Hours for 10 Weeks

Strength at Home for Couples

A couples-based program to enhance relationships and prevent problems from escalating to abuse. Goals of the group:

-develop effective conflict resolution skills

-increase intimacy and closeness

-improve communication with one another

Facilitators: Alison Mencarelli

To Register: Call 269-580-2583

Format: Virtual 

Target Audience: Open to all Veterans enrolled at the medical center.

 

Gerofit

Gerofit offers strength, balance, flexibility, and cardiovascular training in a group setting. 

Facilitator: Kara

Contact: 616-249-5300 ext. 30370

Group Capacity: Open to ALL Veterans enrolled at the medical center

  • Veterans Crisis Line - If you are having thoughts of suicide, call 988, then PRESS 1 or visit http://www.veteranscrisisline.net/
  • For emergency mental health care, you can also go directly to your local VA medical center24/7 regardless of your discharge status or enrollment in other VA health care.
  • Vet Centers - Discuss how you feel with other Veterans in these community-based counseling centers. 70% of Vet Center staff are Veterans. Call 1-877-927-8387 or find one near you.
  • VA Mental Health Services Guide - This guide will help you sign up and access mental health services.
  • MakeTheConnection.net - information, resources, and Veteran to Veteran videos for challenging life events and experiences with mental health issues.
  • Download VA's self-help apps - Tools to help deal with common reactions like, stress, sadness, and anxiety. You can also track your symptoms over time.
  • VA Women Veterans Call Center - Call or text 1-855-829-6636 (M-F 8AM - 10PM & SAT 8AM - 6:30PM ET)
  • VA Caregiver Support Line - Call 1-855-260-3274 (M-F 8AM - 10PM & SAT 8AM - 5PM ET)

iREST Mindfulness Meditation Monthly Drop-In


This is a monthly drop-in group for Veterans to participate in a guided meditation practice. iREST helps you see what is present in your body and mind. People who practice iREST report reduced levels of depression, anxiety, insomnia, stress, and chronic/acute pain. This group will help you relax more deeply and increase overall resilience.

Facilitators: Nicole Najar, PsyD, ABPP and Rebecca Preston, PsyD

To Register: Call 269-966-5600 ext. 32963 or ext. 30235

Format: Video Connect

Target Audience: Open to all Veterans  enrolled at medical center.