DETROIT (WWJ) — Something new for thousands of local veterans.

A new $3.5 million mental health clinic officially opens Thursday at the V.A. Healthcare System’s Detroit facility.

Dr. Bella Schanzer, associate chief of staff for mental health, says, “A lot of our veterans are coming home to high rates of unemployment, to homelessness, and even if they’re not homeless, to housing instability, to strains on the family. So, having that case management piece is really crucial.”

Dr. Schanzer adds, “And in terms of the nurse, nurses play a really important role in terms of helping veterans get comfortable taking medications, understanding the medication’s side effects, really working with them around compliance issues.”

The new mental health outpatient clinic is 3200 square feet. And Dr. Schanzer says the clinic’s design – a large, wide-open space – is very important… especially to vets with post traumatic stress disorder.

“If somebody has post traumatic stress disorder one of the things they often have is something that we call hyper-vigilance, which means they’re always looking around, they’re worried about who’s behind them. But when you have a clinic with lines sort of set up in rows it becomes very hard, you don’t want to sit down because you don’t know who’s behind you. And the wide open space allows people to create their own personal space. They can feel more comfortable. It’s quieter,” says Dr. Schanzer.

To learn more about the new clinic, click here


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