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Lakeland Vet Center

We offer confidential help for Veterans, service members, and their families at no cost in a non-medical setting. Our services include counseling for needs such as depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and the psychological effects of military sexual trauma (MST). We can also connect you with more support in VA and your community.

Locations and contact information

Main Location

1370 Ariana Street
Lakeland, FL 33803-1817

Direct line

Hours

  • Mon. 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Tue. 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Wed. 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Thu. 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Fri. 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Sat. Closed
  • Sun. Closed
Lakeland Vet Center located adjacent to Pizza Hut, a few doors down from Rent-A-Center, and Amscot on Ariana St. Location is in shopping center which is directly across from American Legion Post 4.

Other locations

Vet Centers are community based to be more accessible in areas where you live.

View more Lakeland Vet Center locations

We also have non-traditional hours that change periodically given our community’s needs. Please call us to find out more.

Need help after hours?

Our call center is available 24/7. Call us anytime at 877-927-8387.

Prepare for your visit

Click on a topic for more details.

After you contact us, a team member will call you to schedule an appointment. You can expect a return call within 1 to 2 business days. We'll schedule your first appointment within 2 to 10 business days.

Anyone in crisis will be seen within the same day.

You can call us anytime during our posted hours of operation. If you need to call outside of those times, on weekends, or on holidays, the Vet Center Call Center is available 24/7 at 877-927-8737.

Currently, masks are required inside the building.

You don’t need to be registered for care at VA, rated for a service-connected disability, or receiving any other form of VA benefits. On your first visit, we’ll check for one or more of the following:

  • Discharge documents (such as a DD214)
  • Receipt of certain awards
  • Deployment orders
  • Other documents that show qualifying military service

Request your military service records online

If you don’t have these documents on hand, come in and we can work with you to establish your eligibility and answer any questions you might have.

We have free marked parking in the plaza where our center is located. Our parking area is well-lit. Accessible parking spaces are also available.

Our location is accessible through Citrus Connection public transit.

You can access our center through any of these routes:

  • O2 Orange 2
  • R1 Red 1
  • R2 Red 2

Check routes and schedules at Citrus Connection

In the spotlight at Lakeland Vet Center

Counseling services

Click on a service for more details.

We offer couples and family counseling to support you as you work toward meeting your goals.

We know being a parent can be difficult. We provide gender-specific support groups to discuss the challenges of parenting and learning new parenting skills.

If someone close to you has died or you’re adjusting to a difficult life change, we’re here to support you.

We support Gold Star families. We offer grief and bereavement counseling if your service member died while serving on active duty and to family members of Veterans who were receiving services at the time of their death. 

Read more about Gold Star families

We can help get you connected to the Veterans Benefits Administration and National Cemetery Administration and navigate burial and survivor benefits using the Planning Your Legacy Toolkit. 

Go to VA's toolkit for burial benefits and pre-need planning information (PDF)

If you or a loved one are in—or may be in—a potentially abusive or violent relationship, we can help.

We have counselors trained to provide support to you or someone you know experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV), often called domestic violence.  

If you're feeling unsafe and need additional support, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233.

Learn more about the National Domestic Violence Hotline

If you're a Veteran who identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, or a related identity, we can help you find counseling, support, and referral services to meet your specific needs.

We proudly celebrate diversity among those we serve. We work closely with the LGBTQ+ Veteran care coordinator at our local VA and can make direct referrals.

If you’re struggling with issues like PTSD, depression, grief, anger, or trauma, we offer counseling and other support. We’ll work with you to help you achieve your personal goals.

We offer unique individual and group therapies to support your needs.

We have group therapies such as these:

  • Readjustment group
  • Mindfulness drop-in group
  • Era-specific groups such as Vietnam and Global War on Terror
  • Community reading groups
  • Whole health
  • Women Veteran groups
  • Parenting and relationship support groups
  • Seeking Safety

We offer evidence-based therapies such as these:

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I)
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Internal Family Systems (IFS)
  • Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
  • Prolonged Exposure (PE)

If you experienced sexual assault or harassment during military service, we can help you get the counseling you need. Any Veteran or service member, including members of the National Guard and Reserve forces, who experienced military sexual trauma is eligible to receive counseling. This applies to people of all genders from any service era.

Our counselors use a trauma-informed care approach to provide therapy and supportive services to those who have experienced military sexual trauma (MST).

We have groups for MST survivors to focus on processing trauma and receiving support from other MST survivors. Please call if you're interested in joining a group.

If you’re a Veteran from a minority community, we can help you find counseling, support, and referral services to meet your specific needs.

We proudly celebrate diversity among those we serve and can connect you with bilingual services for individual or group counseling with us.

If you have symptoms of PTSD after a traumatic event, we can help. We offer assessment and support through private counseling and group therapy. We can also refer you to VA or community counseling for treatment and therapy resources.

Symptoms of PTSD, such as feeling on edge, having trouble with sleep, or losing motivation, may be getting you off track. We can provide the tools to manage these problems. Call us to learn how we can help.

Learn more about PTSD and treatments

We offer evidence-based practices and specialty care such as these therapies:

  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
  • Prolonged Exposure (PE)
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Adaptive Disclosure
  • Whole health activities such as mindfulness and yoga
  • Seeking Safety 

If you’re returning from military service, we’ll help you transition to civilian life. We can connect you with educational and career counseling, mental health services, and other programs and benefits that will support your transition.

We're here to welcome you home. We provide a community where you can connect with other Veterans and service members.

Whether you're returning from deployment or leaving the military, we can help you connect with the right people for these kinds of tasks:

Give us a call, we’ve got your six!

If you’re a woman Veteran transitioning to civilian life, we can help you find counseling, support, and referral services to meet your specific needs.

We offer individual and group therapy to women Veterans. We can connect you with a group that may include mentorship, creative arts, or community reading. We work closely with the Women Veterans Program Manager at our local VA to help you get the specific care you need.

Referral services

Click on a service for more details.

We can help you overcome substance use problems, from unhealthy alcohol use to life-threatening addiction. We'll connect you to services for your specific needs.

We work with the Substance Use Disorder Program at James A. Haley VA Hospital in Tampa. This program is located at 10770 North 46th Street.

If you're looking for substance abuse programs or clinics please call 813-631-7100 or 813-972-2000 and wait for the automated response to choose the correct department.

Call our Veterans Crisis Line at 988 and press 1 to get support anytime day or night. This service is private, free, and available 24/7. Our Vet Center can also connect you with ongoing counseling and services.

You can also text the Veterans Crisis Line at 838255 or visit the site for confidential chat.

Find help at the Veterans Crisis Line

Our primary focus is your safety. If you feel hopeless, suicidal, or in need of crisis care, just let your counselor know. Together, we can work to help you stay safe and improve your world.

We can help connect you to VA and community resources that will support you in achieving your goals.

We can help you with the following:

  • Understanding VA medical benefits and documents needed for enrollment
  • Finding a VSO to file claims and other benefits paperwork
  • Connecting with representatives for VA education benefits
  • Learning more about VA and state burial benefits
  • Learning more about housing and VA home loans

We can also connect you to local Veterans Services Organizations.

Learn more about Polk County Veteran Services

Other services

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We provide private organizations and community agencies education on our Veteran community and military culture. Together, we build referral networks to expand support for Veterans, service members, and their families.

To complement our counseling services, we partner with entities, such as these: 

  • Local first responders
  • The American Legion ​The American Legion is a Veterans service organization aimed at advocating patriotism across the U.S. through diverse programs and member benefits. They're located at 1375 Ariana Street in Lakeland, Florida. You can contact them at 863-683-8710.

How we’re different than a clinic

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Vet Centers are small, non-medical, counseling centers conveniently located in your community. They’re staffed by highly trained counselors and team members dedicated to seeing you through the challenges that come with managing life during and after the military.

Whether you come in for one-on-one counseling or to participate in a group session, at Vet Centers you can form social connections, try new things, and build a support system with people who understand you and want to help you succeed.

You may be eligible for Vet Center services no matter your discharge status or eligibility for VA health care. And we encourage you to contact us, even if you’re not sure if you’re eligible. If we can’t help you, we’ll find someone who can. 

If you’re a Veteran or service member (including National Guard and Reserves), you’re eligible if you meet any of these service requirements: 

  • You served on active duty in any combat theater or area of hostility, or 
  • You provided mortuary services or direct emergency medical care to treat the casualties of war while on active duty, or 
  • You were a member of an unmanned aerial vehicle crew that provided direct support to operations in a combat theater or area of hostility, or 
  • You served on active duty in response to a national emergency or major disaster declared by the president, or under orders of the governor or chief executive of a state in response to a disaster or civil disorder, or  
  • You’re a current or former member of the Coast Guard who participated in a drug interdiction operation, or 
  • You’re a current member of the Reserve Component assigned to a military command in a drill status, including active Reserves, and you need to address a behavioral health condition or psychological trauma that is related to your military service

If you’re a Veteran or service member (including National Guard and Reserves), you’re also eligible for Vet Center services if any of these descriptions is true for you: 

  • You’re a Vietnam Era Veteran who used Vet Center services before January 2, 2013, or 
  • You experienced military sexual trauma (no matter your gender or service era), or 
  • You currently use any covered VA educational assistance benefits

What are the covered educational assistance benefits?

They're benefits from any of these programs

Remember: You don’t need to be enrolled in VA health care to be eligible for Vet Center services. You don’t need to have a service-connected disability. And you can have any character of discharge.

You can use our counseling and other support services when your participation would support the growth and goals of the Veteran or service member in your family. If the Veteran or service member considers you family, so do we.  

You can also use our bereavement services if any of these descriptions is true for your family: 

  • The Veteran or service member died while serving on active duty, or

  • The Veteran was using Vet Center services at the time of their death, or

  • The Veteran or service member died by suicide 

No. You don’t have to be enrolled in VA health care or have a service-connected disability.

Safe and confidential. Our records can’t be accessed by other VA offices, the DoD, military units, or other community networks and providers without your permission or unless required to avert a life-threatening situation. Here, you can be as open as you want—there’s absolutely no judgment.