Maria, unsure where to reach out for help, calls the crisis line and is pleasantly surprised.
When a loved one struggles it can feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders.
Others are here to help.
Sometimes the help a Veteran needs is real practical, like an emergency rent check or legal advice. That’s where Reach Out, 211, and Blue Families can help (see table below).
Sometimes it’s care for a mental health or drug/alcohol issue. “Coaching into Care” can point you in the right direction, or call the Veteran’s Crisis Line or search here.
And what about you? If you’re feeling in need of support for yourself, click here to find the closest counseling center.
A word about counseling and treatment: It might take a few tries to find the right fit. Don’t give up. If things are so bad that your loved one is considering suicide, that means s/he hasn’t found the treatment that will help yet. But it’s out there. No one is meant to suffer that kind of pain.
Here are some helpful resources
If you are a Veteran in crisis, or concerned about a Veteran, connect with the Veterans Crisis Line to reach caring, qualified responders with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Veterans Crisis Line: Suicide Prevention Hotline, Text & Chat
Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 or Text 838255
Veterans and their family/friends can use this site to locate help for Veterans, whether that be for isolation, career challenges, money issues, physical or mental health problems, or other challenges.
For Veterans in crisis, the simple act of starting a conversation can begin a journey toward feeling like themselves again. This site helps you learn simple ways to support a Veteran in need and questions you can ask to keep the conversation going.
Start the Conversation | VA Suicide Prevention Resources (veteranscrisisline.net)
Coaching Into Care is a free service for families and friends of Veterans. Responders will briefly assess your concerns and provide appropriate resources and referrals. Through 10 to 30 minute calls, licensed psychologists and social workers offer guidance and help for starting conversations with the Veteran in your life about their mental health or substance use issues and motivating them to seek treatment if it’s needed.
Coaching Into Care | When a Veteran you know needs help – MIRECC / CoE (va.gov)
This site helps you locate mental health programs near you.
2-1-1 contact centers are staffed by trained specialists who quickly assess the callers’ needs and refer them to the help they need. 2-1-1 services are free, confidential, and accessible to everyone through multilingual capabilities. Information is also available online through comprehensive regional databases of government and nonprofit services.
A free, 6-session educational program for families, caregivers and friends of military service members and Veterans with mental health conditions.
Blue Star Families is a mutual support organization founded by and for spouses and family members of military personnel and Veterans.