Helping Veterans get the support they need

Easy access to high-quality mental health and substance use disorder services are essential to restoring and maintaining the health and well-being of our Veterans. With that in mind, our programs are uniquely positioned to help Veterans get the support they need.

About one-third of returning service members report symptoms of a mental health or a cognitive condition.1 And only 50 percent of returning veterans who need mental health treatment will receive these services.2 Reasons for this include:

  • Stigma or fear of being seen as weak
  • Symptoms not always easily recognized
  • Unsure about how to approach the health care system
  • Long wait times to receive mental health treatment
  • Logistical problems, such as long travel distances to receive care
  • Lost hope that their condition and life can improve

Optum® understands these challenges, and we work to remove these barriers. We help people reach a stable place and maintain recovery on their terms, so individuals and their families can live their best lives.

As the largest managed behavioral health care organization in the U.S., we have the expertise, scope and scale to support any population across the nation:

  • Provide behavioral health services to 34.5 million Americans
  • Nation’s largest performance-tiered network with 185K+ active network providers
  • Vendor for 42 percent of Fortune 100 and 34 percent of Fortune 500 companies
  • Serve 6.4 million Medicaid and 4.4 million Medicare lives
  • Achieved NCQA’s highest Full Accreditation status and URAC accreditation


Our guiding principles

1. Focus on coordinating care for the whole person

Our approach addresses all aspects of a person’s health and well-being, whether he or she is being treated by a primary physician or behavioral health specialist. Identifying co-occurring physical, mental and social issues is integral to treating the whole person.

This is particularly important when managing the long-term effects of complex conditions Veterans struggle with, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, depression, suicide ideation and substance use disorders.

Our program works by connecting clinicians with an individual’s health-status data. We work across the health system to identify undertreated problems early and then manage conditions following evidenced-based best practices.

2. Focus care on person-centered recovery principles

When individuals are fully committed participants in their treatment, recovery and well-being, the best outcomes are achieved. That’s why engaging and empowering the individual is at the heart of our programs.

We listen to individuals to understand their desires, goals and what motivates them to take action. Abilities and strengths become part of their recovery plans. Self-care tools and resources keep individuals engaged and support recovery and wellness between visits.

3. Make care accessible and relevant to Veterans

People respond best to care that meets them where they are. We’ve invested in the services and capabilities to make this possible:

  • 24/7 emergency mental health care
  • Care that is sensitive to gender and cultural issues
  • Services close to home, including virtual tele-mental health visits
  • Family and couple services

Our care advocates understand the specific needs of the populations we serve. They actively guide individuals to specialized services when needed. These may include:

  • Personal and family counseling
  • Substance use disorders
  • Suicide prevention
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Sexual trauma services
  • Services for those who are homeless
  • Services for those involved with the justice system
  • Services for the elderly requiring home-based evaluations

1. RAND. Invisible wounds: Mental health and cognitive care needs of America’s returning veterans. 2008.
2. SAMHSA. Veterans and military families. Last updated Sept. 2014.

Learn more about how Optum can help the VA’s mission to improve Veteran health care.