Tester Announces Opening of Helena Vet Center

(U.S. Senate) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced that a new Vet Center will open its doors later this month to Helena veterans.

After Tester demanded the VA establish a Vet Center in Helena, staff will begin moving in to the new facility from its temporary offices this weekend. Veterans and servicemembers will be able to access Vet Center mental health care and transition services closer to home by the end of the month.

“Montana veterans, transitioning servicemembers and their families rely on Vet Centers for mental health care treatment and counseling,” said Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “The Helena area has one of the highest populations of veterans in Montana, and I’m encouraged that these brave men and women will soon be able to access these services closer to home.”

Vet Centers provide services in a confidential setting outside VA Health Care facilities. Services include mental health screenings, suicide prevention, drug and alcohol assistance, family counseling, employment assistance, education training, and other services to help veterans transition to civilian life.

"We welcome this news, as will the citizens of Helena who fought with us for these past six years to bring a Vet Center to our community,” said Diane Carlson Evans, Army Nurse Corps and Vietnam veteran and Maj. Gen. Gene Prendergast, U.S. Army (Ret.). “We are grateful to Senator Tester for never giving up in his efforts to establish a welcoming, safe and non-threatening environment staffed with veterans and licensed clinicians and counselors who have proven in more than 300 Vet Centers nationwide to save lives and improve the quality of lives of those suffering the emotional wounds of war. We don’t give up on soldiers on the battlefield or in military hospitals. We cannot give up on them when they return home. They have served us and now we must serve them.” 

The new Vet Center is located at 1301 Elm Street in Helena.

Veterans and servicemembers will continue to seek care from the temporary office at the Helena Job Service at 715 Front Street until the Vet Center is operational.