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Mental Health

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Returning Veteran

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Overview

Almost all service members will have reactions after returning from deployment. These behaviors and feelings are normal, especially during the first weeks at home. Despite the challenges of reintegration, most service members will successfully readjust with few problems. However, seeking solutions to problems is a sign of strength. Don't hesitate to take advantage of the resources that are available to you and your loved ones. Having knowledge, coping skills, and social support will positively influence your ability and attitude to handle the uncertainties post-deployment and better prepare you for the coming reintegration.

VA Programs & Services

  • Returning Service Members (OEF/OIF): Provides information for our newest Veterans returning from the armed services. You can find information about the benefits the VA provides, eligibility, and family support services.  
  • VA Mental Health Services & Vet Center Services (also available in Spanish): Brochure provides information on counseling services for returning Veterans and their families.
  • Vet Centers: Vet Centers are located in your community and stand ready to help you and your family with readjustment counseling and outreach services. Services include individual and group counseling, marital and family counseling, medical and benefits referrals, and employment counseling.
  • National Center for PTSD - Veterans and their Families : This website contains in-depth information on PTSD and traumatic stress. You can find answers to Frequently Asked Questions About PTSD; Fact Sheets on Common Reactions; information about the effects of trauma on Family and Friends; and much more.
  • My healtheVet - Separation from Active Duty Center: This center was developed to support Veterans from OEF/OIF by providing information and services to promote optimal health.
  • The War-Related Illness and Injury Study Center (WRIISC): The WRIISC, pronounced "risk," offers services to combat Veterans, families, and healthcare providers on deployment-related health concerns through clinical evaluation, research, education and risk communication.
  • MakeTheConnection.net: Visit this site to view stories from Veterans of all service eras who have successfully dealt with transitioning from service and overcome mental health challenges. MakeTheConnection.net is a one-stop resource where Veterans and their families and friends can privately explore information on mental health issues, hear fellow Veterans and their families share their stories of resilience, and easily find and access the support and resources they need.
    • Watch video testimonials from Veterans who have found effective ways to deal with transitioning from service and other issues affecting their lives, and to learn more about treatment and recovery.

      MTC
  • Moving Forward: Moving Forward is an educational and life coaching program that teaches Problem Solving skills to help you better handle life’s challenges. It is designed for Veterans, Service Members and their families.
  • Parenting For Service Members and Veterans: Parenting is a free online course designed to help Veterans and returning Service Members reconnect with their children/family after deployment and beyond.

Articles & Fact Sheets

Articles

  • Families At Ease: VA Program Helps Families Help Their Veterans: Many Veterans need help admitting or realizing they need help. The 'Families At Ease' program (now 'Coaching Into Care') was developed by VA to work with family members and friends of Veterans to help them access VA facilities for services and benefits they have earned.
  • Helping Veterans Come Home: A Day at a Vet Center: Vet Centers understand and appreciate Veteran's war experience while assisting them and their family members toward a successful post-war adjustment in their community. Join Alice Ford and the staff at the Alexandria Vet Center for a look at what happens everyday.
  • A Day at a Vet Center: A Safe Place to Talk: The goal of the Vet Center program is to provide a broad range of counseling, outreach, and referral services to eligible Veterans in order to help them make a satisfying post-war readjustment to civilian life. Vet Centers also provide bereavement counseling to surviving parents, spouses, children and siblings.
  • A Day at a Vet Center: Counseling Vets and Families: There are 232 community based Vet Centers located in all fifty states, District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. While the Vet Centers were originally set up to help returning Vietnam Veterans, they are now able to counsel all combat Veterans from all military conflicts.

Fact Sheets for Veterans

Fact Sheets for Veterans and their Families

Other Resources

  • inTransition: Are you, a loved one or buddy looking at an upcoming change in status, relocation or return to civilian life? For warriors currently receiving mental healthcare, transferring to a new provider can be easy. Check out the inTransition Program to learn about coaching resources that you can take advantage of today.
  • National Resource Directory (NRD): NRD connects wounded warriors, Service Members, Veterans, and their families with those who support them. Provides access to services and resources at the national, state and local levels to support recovery, rehabilitation and community reintegration. Partnership among the Departments of Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs.
  • After Deployment Website: A behavioral health resource supporting service members, their families, and Veterans with common post-deployment challenges. Their mission is to provide self-care solutions targeting PTSD, depression, and other behavioral health challenges.
  • National Guard Family Program: This programs purpose is to enhance the quality of life for National Guard members, their families, and the communities in which they live.
  • Deployment Health News: The DoD Deployment Health Clinical Center publishes this online newsletter that covers health issues related to military service, deployments, homeland security, and the War on Terrorism. Drawing from publicly available sources, it includes topics such as occupational health, medications, and medically unexplained symptoms.
Help for Homeless Veterans: 877-4AID-VET  VA Health Care: Apply Now Caregiver Support: 855-260-3274 eBenefits: My Gateway to Benefit Information
Find out if you’re eligible: Health Benefits Explorer Veterans Health Benefits Guide Veterans Health Library Women Veterans Call Center: 1-855-VA-WOMEN