South Sound military veterans and their families will soon have increased access to mental health care services ranging from post-traumatic stress disorder treatment to couples therapy.

Cohen Veterans Network, in partnership with Valley Cities, plans to open the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Valley Cities in Lakewood early next year.

Cohen Veterans Network

Clinic Director Nichole Ayres with Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier (left) and Senator Steve O’Ban (right). Photo courtesy of Cohen Veterans Network.

“The rate of suicide among veterans is unacceptable in this country. We are joining the Pierce County community to save lives and save futures,” Cohen Veterans Network President & CEO Dr. Anthony Hassan said in a statement earlier this year. “In partnering with Valley Cities, we will increase access to mental health services and work collaboratively with local providers to ensure veterans and military families are provided with quality care.”

Cohen Veterans Network serves more than 8,000 clients at 10 clinic locations across the United States. The Lakewood clinic is the organization’s first location in the Pacific Northwest. The mental health services provided include PTSD treatment, treatment for depression and anxiety, family issues and grief counseling, couples therapy, and more.

According to Hope Salley, Cohen Veterans Network clinic communications manager, the organization’s clinics accept all post-9/11 veterans as clients, regardless of discharge status. Cohen Veterans Network clinics also offer fast care to veterans and their family members — the expected wait time between first contact and an appointment is less than a week — at low or no cost. Same-day appointments are made in crisis situations.

“We really are trying to break down those barriers that a lot of veterans and military families face when trying to receive mental health services,” Salley said.

In September, Nichole Ayres was named director of the Lakewood location.

“I am honored to join the new Cohen Clinic where we will have the opportunity to provide much needed services for post-9/11 veterans who are dealing with invisible wounds like PTSD, anxiety, and depression,” Ayres said.

The clinic will be located at 6103 Mt. Tacoma Drive in Lakewood. According to Cohen Veterans Network, no firm opening date has been set yet.