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Portland, ME 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, post traumatic 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

475 Stevens Avenue
Portland, ME 04103-2635

Direct line

Hours

  • Mon. 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Tue. 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Wed. 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Thu. 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Fri. 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Sat. Closed
  • Sun. Closed
Portland Vet Center

Other locations

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

View more Portland, ME 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

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First Time Visitor: 

The Portland Vet Center provides a free service for eligible Veterans and their families.  Give us a call and let's discuss how we can help. Call 207-780-3584 during regular business hours, 8:00 am to 4:30pm, Monday thru Friday to schedule an appointment with one of our counselors.  

Making an appointment: 

 After your initial contact with the Portland Vet Center, the Vet Center Director will be notified to call you to schedule an appointment. You can expect a return call within 1-2 business days, and we should be able to schedule your first appointment within 2-10 business days, depending on schedule availabilities. 

Anyone in crisis will be seen within the same day.

Contacting us: 

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

Cancelling or rescheduling an appointment: 

If you know you will miss an appointment, please notify us as soon as possible so we can reschedule your appointment and make that time available for another Veteran. 

The Vet Center is located as a free-standing facility at 475 Stevens Avenue in Portland, conveniently located across the street from Pat's Meat Market. 

There is ample parking in the front and rear of the facility.  The parking lot is well lit during the hours of darkness.

Please park on the side of the building, go to the front of the facility and enter through the double doors where you will be greeted by our staff. Due to COVID 19, please note that masking, social distancing and CDC screening questions are required at this time for entry.

You do not 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 will look 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
  • Valid photo I.D.

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.

The Portland Vet Center is located a short distance from stop 500 on bus route 9a. Plan your visit with Greater Portland Metro. 

In the spotlight at Portland, ME Vet Center

Counseling services

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

Vet Center counselors offer the following clinical therapeutic modalities:

  • Imago Couples Counseling
  • Gottman Couples counseling
  • Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)

In addition, Vet Center counselors may provide education to family members regarding the Veteran’s military relation issues and/or post-military readjustment.

We’re here to support you if someone close to you has died or you’re adjusting to a difficult life change.

Here at the Portland Vet Center we provide a caring, supportive place to process loss with services at no additional cost, such as:

  • Bereavement counseling for families who have lost a loved one while they were serving on active duty
  • Grief counseling
  • Contact information to the Veteran Benefits Administration and National Cemetery regarding possible burial and survival benefits.

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

Whether you are experiencing or witnessing domestic violence, or are concerned for someone else, the Portland Vet Center can help you to enhance safety, emotional or physical well-being.

Emergency assistance:  The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 or online.

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 serve all who served. We can help with counseling, support, case management and referral services to meet specific needs.

LGBTQ IA+ support: EqualityMaine | Maine lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality, 207-761-3732

Transgender support for Veterans:   MaineTransNet

Services & Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender elders (SAGE), 212-741-2247

If you have any questions you can also email the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging: info@lgbtagingcenter.org  

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.

Here at the Portland Vet Center we offer individual and group counseling, and offer referral services to appropriate VA and community resources to assist Veterans and service members.  

Care at the Portland Vet Center includes:

  • One-on-one hour-long counseling sessions tailored for the Veteran or service member’s needs
  • Various Group counseling options for Persian Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans, Vietnam Veterans, Spouse/Significant Others and more.

Evidence-based therapies such as:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
  • Internal Family Systems (IFS)
  • Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)

The Portland Vet Center offers many different group options to support Veterans and service members:

  • Vietnam era
  • Mixed era
  • Vietnam Legacy
  • Spouses Support
  • iREST 
  • Wellness, Action, Recovery, Plan (WRAP) 
  • Book group
  • Whole health group
  • Outdoor Experiential - Experiential Activities, Adventure Activities, Outcomes, Conceptual Development, Therapeutic Modality.
  • Proprioceptive writing -  Method of exploring the mind through writing.

 

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.

We at the Portland Vet Center are trained in trauma-focused modalities to assist the Veteran or service member in the successful treatment of MST.

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

The Portland Vet Center offers both male and female clinicians for Veteran preference and currently service African American, Hispanic American and Native Maine tribesman as part of our diverse, inclusive, and welcoming low-barrier facility.

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.

We can help. At the Portland Vet Center, we offer assessment and support through private individual counseling and group therapy.  Our counselors have specialized training in the treatment of trauma and its effects on the individual and larger family system. 

Your records are kept strictly confidential. Vet Center records are separate from even the larger VA and can only be released by written permission from the Veteran or service member.   

We can also refer you to VA or community options for medication management and therapy resources. 

Care at the Portland Vet Center includes:

  • Anger management
  • Stress management
  • Wellness and self-care

Evidence-based therapies such as:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
  • Internal Family Systems (IFS)

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.

Here at the Portland Vet Center can help you know where to go and how to register for: 

  • How to get VA medical benefits and register for care 
  • Where to go to file claims and other forms 
  • Understanding your VA education benefits 
  • Education and referral for VA burial benefits 
  • Housing and home loans 

We can also connect you to Veterans Service Organizations in your community. 

Whole health puts you—instead of your illnesses or conditions—at the center of care. We’ll work with you to develop a personalized health plan based on your values, needs, and goals.

Here at the Portland Vet Center, we work to bridge mental health care with every other aspect of a Veteran or service member’s life.  You can expect your counselor to help you highlight the connection between mental health and various aspects of self-care (e.g. food and drink, working your body, surroundings, spirit and soul, personal development, recharging and relationship supports).  

The Vet Center offers the following groups for creativity and self-care:

  • The Vet Center offers virtual iREST classes to assist with stress reduction and feeling more present in one’s life.
  • The Portland Vet Center works with other local stakeholders who offer recreational therapy. Veterans Adaptive Sports, and Training (VAST) meets weekly and provides outdoor activities, such as bocce, archery, mountain biking, hiking, walking, and disc golf. Learn more by visiting Pineland Farms, Inc.

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.

The Portland Vet Center is staffed with several women counselors who can focus on the needs of women Veterans and your cultural transformation along with any readjustment issues you may experience. The Portland Vet Center’s goal is to provide an environment free from harassment that meets the unique needs of women Veterans.

Referral services

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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.

The Portland Vet Center does not offer specific treatment if the primary concern is addictive issues, however we can direct the Veteran to the VA Substance Use Disorder Treatment Program within the VAMC Togus hospital or other residential treatment programs contracted with the VA.

If you’re homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, we can help you connect with resources in your community.

Here at the Portland Vet Center we partner with several state and community providers to assist homeless Veterans obtain shelter and care:

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.

Connect with the Veterans Crisis Line 24/7 or text 838255.

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

We understand that the transition from military to civilian life can be a challenge. We offer a variety of ways to assist you in that process such as: 

  • How to get VA medical benefits and register for care 
  • Where to go to file claims and other forms 
  • Understanding your VA education benefits 
  • Housing and home loans 
  • Education and referral for VA burial benefits 

The Portland Vet Center can also connect you to Veterans Service Organizations in your community. 

We have staff who can help connect you to the Veterans Benefits Administration system to better understand what services you are entitled to and how to access them.

Here are also some helpful links in getting started:

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.

If you or your agency would like to learn more about the Veteran culture and how we, through a collaboration, can help support our Veteran community please reach out to the Portland Vet Center at 207-780-3584 and ask for Veteran Outreach Program Specialist or our Director.

We offer secure and confidential individual and group counseling through telehealth. You can schedule a phone or video appointment for Vet Center services.

It is always preferred that services be provided in person however we understand there are times/situations where this may not be possible. If you are unable to come to the Portland Vet Center for a variety of reasons, such as living in a rural area required extended drive to get to the Vet Center, not being able to take time off from work and/or not feeling well, we can accommodate you with telehealth services.

We offer workshops and classes if you want to connect with other Veterans but don't want a group counseling setting.

As an alternative to a traditional group setting, we periodically offer workshops and classes if you want to connect with other Veterans and service members to learn about spousal supports, volunteer opportunities in the community or education on suicide prevention.  For more information for potential offerings contact our Veteran Outreach Program Specialist or Office Manger  at 207-780-3584.

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.

Vet Center services are available to you at no cost, regardless of discharge character, and without you needing to be enrolled in VA health care or having a service-connected disability. If you’re a Veteran or service member, including members of the National Guard and Reserve, you can access our services if you:

  • Served on active military duty in any combat theater or area of hostility
  • Experienced military sexual trauma (regardless of gender or service era) 
  • Provided mortuary services or direct emergent medical care to treat the casualties of war while serving on active military duty
  • Performed as a member of an unmanned aerial vehicle crew that provided direct support to operations in a combat theater or area of hostility
  • Accessed care at a Vet Center prior to January 2, 2013, as a Vietnam-Era Veteran
  • Served on active military 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 in that state.
  • Are a current or former member of the Coast Guard who participated in a drug interdiction operation, regardless of the location.
  • Are a current member of the Reserve Components assigned to a military command in a drilling status, including active Reserves, who has a behavioral health condition or psychological trauma related to military service that adversely effects quality of life or adjustment to civilian life.

We encourage you to contact us, even if you’re unsure if you meet these criteria. If we can’t help you, we’ll find someone who will.

Our services are also available to family members when their participation would support the growth and goals of the Veteran or active-duty service member. If you consider them family, so do we. We also offer bereavement services to family members of Veterans who were receiving Vet Center services at the time of the Veteran’s death, and to the families of service members who died while serving on active duty.

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.