Coaching Into Care is a VA telephone service that provides assistance to family members and friends trying to encourage their Veteran to seek health care for possible readjustment and mental health issues.

It’s a national phone service that helps to link Veterans with services available in their own communities.

When a Veteran comes home, or their military service comes to an end, their support shifts from military comrades and superiors to family members and close friends. Frequently it is friends and family who are first to notice their Veteran having a tough time adjusting.

If you haven’t served in the military yourself, it can be hard to know how to help, what to say, how to reach out.

Coaching into Care director Dr. Steven Sayers received this letter from a Veteran’s parent:

I want you and the VA to know of the outstanding and immensely valuable services provided by your colleague Dr. Tanya Hess, as part of the VA Coaching Into Care program.

My son served with honor and distinction in the US Army. He had two deployments to Iraq. When he returned to civilian life, he initially enrolled in college, but then discontinued his collegiate studies and experienced a period of unemployment and some difficulties.

I asked a VA specialist for advice and assistance. He referred me to Coaching Into Care.

As I am sure you can appreciate, it is very difficult for a family to know how to assist a loved one to connect with the VA and pursue the services that are available to a Veteran with needs.

Dr. Hess provided the “how to” advice to me, which over the course of several months, resulted in my son attending more and more of the local VA services and connecting with the VA health resources.

Today he is fully employed and benefiting from services provided by VA health system.

I have enclosed a copy of my letter of deep thanks and appreciation to the VA employment specialist Anthony Rivera who referred me to Coaching Into Care and Dr. Hess.

Every word of praise and thanks reflected in that letter applies in full measure to Dr. Hess, to Coaching Into Care and the VA.

The VA has provided substantial, consequential services to my beloved son and to me.

Authors: Hans Petersen and the very grateful father of a Veteran.

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Photo collage of VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System (VCB) employees and Veterans participating in the Recovery Holiday Tree Project at the VA Health Care Center at Harlingen, Texas, on December 11, 2018. (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs photos and photo collage by Luis H. Loza Gutierrez)Texas VA employees create special tree to help Veterans facing mental health issues

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