5 Resources for Veterans for Better Mental Health
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Mental Health Services
- Department of Defense (DoD) Safe Helpline
- Moving Forward
- Homecoming for Veterans
- Vet Centers
Serving in the Armed Forces is a big sacrifice; after they leave the military, many former service members find themselves in need of mental health resources for veterans. These resources are a great way to deal with the stress and emotions of service and reintegrating into civilian life. With support, it’s easier to stay healthy in body and mind.
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1. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Mental Health Services
One of the best veteran mental health resources is the VA itself. This department understands the special issues that face service members — which means that they can offer connections to the best possible support systems. Some of the common services include posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, grief, and the effects of military sexual trauma. Support is available 24 hours a day via the Veterans Crisis Line, which offers confidential help over the phone, by text, or through the online chat system. Through the VA, veterans can get free mental health care for a full year after they leave the military.
2. Department of Defense (DoD) Safe Helpline
The DoD Safe Helpline is designed specifically for veterans and current military members who have experienced sexual assault. This service is completely confidential — and better yet, it’s anonymous, so callers don’t need to worry about retribution. In fact, the service ensures that personal information is never given to the chain of command or the DoD. This helpline is operated by Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). To access the service, veterans can go online, call the 24-hour number, or use the app. Need group support? There are even anonymous group chats. When using the Safe Helpline, veterans can find local resources or go through educational programs to help with mental health after a sexual assault.
3. Moving Forward
When leaving the military, many veterans struggle with the transition to civilian life. That’s where Moving Forward can help improve veterans’ mental health — this program is designed to help veterans deal with the issues that arise. It offers support for a wide range of issues, from parenting to managing anger. In addition, veterans can get free cognitive behavioral therapy that’s designed to help with insomnia and improve mental health through better sleep. Many of the Moving Forward resources take the form of online courses for confidentiality and privacy reasons.
Homecoming for Veterans
Homecoming for Veterans connects veterans to clinics that offer neurofeedback treatments for PTSD. Neurofeedback uses non-invasive technology to help the brain retrain itself — and as a result, change the way it reacts to PTSD, anxiety, depression, and more. This cutting-edge technology is one way to help reverse some of the mental effects of military service. Best of all, since veterans can connect to clinics near them, this service helps reduce the burden of travel. Participating in Homecoming for Veterans is free; all of the clinics donate their services.
Another of the VA’s veteran resources for mental health are Vet Centers. These community centers are focused on counseling; vets can receive everything from marriage counseling to therapy that helps with adjusting to society. Every service at a Vet Center is free, so veterans don’t need to worry about the financial burden. These centers are located around the United States. If there isn’t one close by, vets can phone the call center or look up a Mobile Vet Center.
Mental health is an important concern for former military members and their families. That’s where the appropriate support is essential. With these mental health resources for U.S. veterans, it’s easier to find targeted treatment options.