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Whole Health for Homeless Vets

George Schmidt, Marine Corps Veteran and Wallace Fleming, Army Veteran
George Schmidt, Marine Corps Veteran (right) and Wallace Fleming, Army Veteran (left)

It's Whole Health Month!

Whole Health means thinking about and approaching health care in a new way. Through conversations and courses, VA staff and Veteran peers get to know Veterans. They work with Veterans to set health and well-being goals based on their needs and what matters to them.

Whole Health puts Veterans, not their symptoms, at the center of their care decisions.

Whole Health for homeless Veterans program

After delays due to COVID-19, the Butler VA started a specific Whole Health course for Veterans in the homeless program.

The Taking Charge of My Life and Health (TCMLH) course is led by Veterans and designed to give Veterans a chance to reflect on what really matters to them and what they want their health for. In addition, Veterans are encouraged to choose an area of their life they want to enhance and develop a plan for carrying out their goals and actions. Finally, the group is there to provide support for attaining their goals.

The class meets every Friday for eight weeks (in person and virtually). All Veterans who have completed the Whole Health Introduction class are invited to participate.

Spending time with fellow Veterans

George Schmidt, Marine Corps Veteran, completed the TCMLH course and encourages other Veterans who are serious about their recovery to give it a try.

“The best thing for me was not only the class and class content, but that I got to spend time with fellow Veterans. That’s what really made it worthwhile. I got more out of it than I expected to. I’m glad I did it.”

For George, establishing his own goals was a struggle, but he has since achieved one of them—quitting smoking! Next up, trying to go to the gym regularly.

Veterans takes charge of the class

Wallace Fleming, Army Veteran, enjoyed the class because it was something new every week.

“What I liked about it most was that it did not specifically zone in on one thing. It focused on every aspect of your life—teaching you how to cook, being healthy, making doctor’s appointments, finding work or going to school, getting out into the community, etc.”

He also appreciated that the class facilitator stepped in when needed, but that Veterans took charge of the group and were able to really share what was on their minds, how they felt about the topic(s), etc.

Since the class ended, Wallace has already seen a difference too.

“I used (and am using) a lot of the tools the class gave me. I have a job now, am eating healthier, exercising more, and getting out to meet people. I took the group class, and I moved forward with all the tools it gave me.”

Whole Health options at the Butler VA

The Butler VA offers a variety of Whole Health courses, resources, workshops, and more for Veterans. From an introduction class for those just starting their whole health journey, to one-on-one support with a whole health coach, there are a many options available for Veterans.

Talk to your health care team today or visit to get started.

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