In tough times, call on VA for mental health support


shadow

The Executive Director, Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, has a message for Veterans and others facing tough times.

Current events are weighing heavily on all of us. Maybe you have less hope than you once did. Maybe you’re feeling more anger. But despite the uncertainty, there are some things we do know: Veterans are resilient and we can get through tough times – together.

Turning to our families, fellow Veterans, friends and communities for support in such times can help get us through this. But sometimes, even that isn’t enough.

Please, whenever the weight is too much, take advantage of the mental health resources that you earned by serving your country. No matter where you are, VA can help protect your well-being – right now – by providing mental health appointments, telehealth, mobile apps, self-help trainings and more.

In these times of heightened stress, anxiety and unrest, a community of support is here for you. Whatever challenge you might be facing, VA will support you, and we encourage you to be there for your fellow Veterans who may also be experiencing intense emotions.

Please explore the many mental health resources highlighted below to learn more. And as always, know that you can always call on VA when you need us. Stay safe and stay well.

Sincerely,

David Carroll, Ph.D.

Executive Director, Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
Veterans Health Administration

Looking for VA Mental Health resources?

Mental Health Providers

VA mental health providers will work with you to cope with the challenges you’re facing.

  • If you’re already using VA medical services, ask your primary care provider to help you make an appointment with a VA mental health provider.
  • If you’re not already using VA medical services, contact your nearest VA medical center or Vet Center to talk about your needs and how to enroll.

Telehealth

You can connect with a VA mental health provider through a computer or mobile device in your home, other preferred location, or at your nearest VA health facility. To set up telephone or video appointments, Veterans can send their health care provider a secure message on My HealtheVet by visiting myhealth.va.gov. Learn more about telehealth options at mobile.va.gov/app/va-video-connect. If you don’t have a telehealth capable device or sufficient internet connectivity and are interested in VA telehealth services, VA may be able to help; contact your local VA medical center.

Mobile Apps

You can access mental health support wherever you are, whenever you need it. VA’s mental health apps can help you manage PTSD-related symptoms and stress, learn to practice mindfulness, cope with depression and more.

Online Self-Help

VA offers many in-depth mental health resources online.

  • VA’s mental health page features self-help tips, guidance for Veterans and their loved ones, and information about specific mental health topics and conditions.
  • Make the Connection offers Veterans, their family members and friends, and other supporters information about issues affecting their lives. On the website, visitors can watch videos of hundreds of Veterans sharing their stories of strength and recovery, read about a variety of life events and mental health topics, and locate nearby resources.
  • Veteran Training is a self-help portal that provides tools for overcoming everyday challenges. The portal has tools to help Veterans work on problem-solving skills, manage anger, develop parenting skills and more, in an entirely anonymous environment. The free tools are based on mental health practices that have proven successful with Veterans and their families.

Help in a Time of Crisis

If you are a Veteran in crisis or are concerned about one, VA is here for you. Free, confidential support from caring VA responders is available 24/7. Call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and press 1, text to 838255 or chat online.

Author

VA Staff Contributor

Comments

  1. Montie Edwards    

    By being a Vietnam veteran some of my closest friends kept telling me I needed to get into the VA system and finally did in 2007. They are not my primary care providers but with my annual limited physical, lab work, and flu shots my contacts with the VA medical system has always been very, very positive. Appointments are always on time, treated with respect, never rushed thru the visits. Treated much better with my VA providers than visits, especially keeping appointments times, with my outside providers.

  2. Debbie    

    How do I get a paper copy as I don’t have internet at home, only on my phone??
    I am a retired vet & haven’t had it since I retired Dec 2013.
    Debbie

  3. Paula t Huetger    

    Hello, I’m a spouse of a deceased 100% disabled vet. He died from cancer caused by agent orange. I understand the veterans come first but as a wife, I’m going through a lot of challenges. Mental health is one. Confusion on spouse benefits has me dazzled. Second is there help with having one’s will made. Lawyers available for other issues, that come up .thank you Paula H. PA.

  4. Ron Taylor    

    I am Veteran diagnosed with PTSD diagnosed after separation. I am a 3 time cancer survivor and have lost sight in my left eye. I tried to reach out to the VA for Mental Health Services, but they won’t talk to me. I am gainfully employed and not a post 9/11 Vet so they say I do not qualify. Ironically I was diagnosed by a Dr. who is now a civilian but used to run VA Mental health services in Texas. (She is retired and lives in SC now). I have tried the PTSD app, all it does is make me feel worse like I have no control, then it tells me, you guessed it, get to the VA and get Mental Health assistance. It’s a cruel cycle

  5. Bgame    

    Last week had a C&P examination and the guy told me there was no way I should still have PTSD after 10 years. 4 IEDS and watched 2 people die just for starters.

  6. Joe Loomer    

    I’m confident in my mental health team but worry the protocols for those of us with PTSD are simply to get us through a specific program (or programs), push on to the next veteran, and let the one who’s now going to be alone again know they can “reach out.” Some of us didn’t reach out until we tried to kill ourselves. Better and more consistent tracking should be a major goal. My REAL issue is with the VBA, I’d rate them a Z-.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  7. Dave    

    Oh sure, reach out to the VA for mental health. Here’s what happens if you call the crisis line: cops show up, they lock you in a mental ward for a week, then they kick you out the door with thousands of dollars in debt for the ambulance ride to the hospital. The mental health industry is a joke!

  8. Brian Barber    

    Mission FISH is also here to assist you in your struggles by giving you a day of Fishing, Interacting, Sharing and Healing at no cost to them!

  9. James Nguyen    

    I’m going thru some issues but so is everyone else. Let those that needs the help more. And its a great feeling just to give than receive. I would like to give my time to volunteer and stay busy. I wish I could have done and be better a long time ago, but I gotta start somewhere. If I can give back and help our hero’s, at least I know one of my favorite hero (rip) would be proud of me.

  10. James Nguyen    

    They are doing the best they can. Give them a break. I thinks they are doing an awesome job.

  11. Garry Perkins    

    I have been going to the VA since 2002 and I would give it an EXCELLENT rating overall. You might ask what I mean by overall. OVERALL defines 99.9 percent of my experiences with the system and people, That said, I want you to know that my family and I appreciate your services. I would like to share something else (the negative .01 percent ) however this is not the place. If you are interested contact me through my Email. Thank you, Garry

  12. Roberta Thees    

    We are Veterans of all ages. These are uncertain times. No one is perfect. I was always taught to help myself and reach out to someone who is willing to listen. Never give up because I won’t. Only God knows our struggles and we need to reach out to one another. I reach out to my shipmates and comrads about every other week. I am sure if I’m feeling anxious I know they are. I have also memorized a verse from God’s word. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs chapter 3: vs. 5-6). Best of regards to all . Sincerely yours, Retired Vet.

  13. SW    

    Why won’t you publish my comments? Is it because I’m telling the truth and you don’t want everyone to know the truth?

    [EDITOR: This blog is not monitored over the weekend; as we’ve previously explained to you, ALL comments go through moderation and will not publish until seen by human eyes the next business day. Furthermore, your 54 (literally) identical comments were seen as an attack on the website by the spam blocker. It moved all 54 into the trash.]

  14. SW    

    1. Mental health providers can NOT be trusted.
    2. The va is systematically PUSHING VETERANS OUT and DOES NOT want to provide the services they are obligated to provide.
    If I am wrong then the va NEEDS to return to IN PERSON appointments and services like benefit travel needs to also be in person, otherwise the va NEEDS to replace the computers of veterans because we HAVE TO DO THE WORK of so called va employees.

Comments are closed.