Veterans who served in Afghanistan may be experiencing a range of emotions related to the U.S withdrawal from the country, and their families and caregivers face challenges supporting them and may be experiencing their own range of emotions. VA has developed a list of family and caregiver resources, including call center information and community support available to assist during this critical time.
Veteran caregivers face unique challenges with little or no medical and mental health training to support themselves and the Veteran in their care. These challenges can take an emotional, financial and physical toll on Veteran caregivers and their families.
Supporting others while also coping
Family members of Veterans are currently facing two challenges – supporting the Veteran they love, and coping with their own thoughts and feelings. VA has resources and information for both of these challenges, like Coaching into Care, which provides support and resources to families who don’t know where to start in supporting the Veteran they love, all the way to VA’s Caregiver Support Program that connects caregivers to one another to support each other as peers.
“The most important thing we can do right now is connect. Talk to other families facing similar challenges, even families you haven’t reached out to in a while. Suggest that your Veteran reach out to some of their battle buddies. Access one of the many resources available through VA, DOD, or any of our many partners. You are not alone, and you do not need to face any of this alone.”
Federal Veteran Caregiver Resources
VA Caregiver Support Resources:
- Locate your local Caregiver Support Staff: https://www.caregiver.va.gov/support/New_CSC_Page.asp
- Caregiver Support Line: 1-855-260-3274
Building Better Caregivers: https://va.buildingbettercaregivers.org
- Online workshop with 6 weekly self-paced lessons, facilitator guidance, group support and access to an alumni community for program graduates.
Coaching into Care: Call 1-888-823-7458
- Coaching Into Care is a free service for people who are concerned about the Veterans in their lives. Licensed psychologists and social workers offer advice for starting the conversation with a Veteran about their mental health and motivating them to seek treatment if it’s needed.
Vet Centers: Call 1-877-WAR-VETS
- Vet Centers are community-based counseling centers that provide a wide range of social and psychological services, including professional readjustment counseling to eligible Veterans, active duty service members, including National Guard and Reserve components, and their families.
Survivors Assistance: https://www.va.gov/survivors
VA Welcome Kit and Quick Start Guide for Caregivers: https://www.va.gov/welcome-kit
VA.GOV: Access and manage your VA benefits and health care, including education and records www.va.gov.
MyVA411: Dial 1-855-948-2311 (1-800-MyVA411). Callers have the option of pressing 0 to be immediately connected with a customer service agent to answer questions.
- Agents assist with facility locator: https://www.va.gov/find-locations
Veterans Crisis Line: Dial 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 to talk to someone. Send a text message to 838255 to connect with a VA responder. Start a confidential online chat session at https://www.veteranscrisisline.net/get-help-now/chat
- For additional mental health resources visit, https://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/suicide_prevention/resources.asp.
#VetResources: VA newsletter reaching more than 11 million Veterans, families, caregivers and survivors. Resources, tools and tips for VA and community resources. Subscribe at https://www.va.gov/vetresources
- For the latest VA updates on coronavirus and commonsense tips on preventing its spread, visit https://www.va.gov/coronavirus
- For more information about coronavirus, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- COVID Quick Start Guide: https://www.va.gov/covid-19-links-and-resources.pdf
- FAQs: https://www.va.gov/coronavirus-veteran-frequently-asked-questions
Department of Defense Caregiver Support Directory lists national resources and programs that assist military caregivers, including helplines, training, caregiver support programs, financial support, and support for children’s needs. The directory is a free resource available for download. The DoD also offers peer forums and discussion groups for caregivers.
Department of Health and Human Services, Administration of Community Living (HHS ACL): https://acl.gov
Community Veteran Caregiver Resources
- American Red Cross Military Veteran Caregiver Network (MVCN)
- Elizabeth Dole Foundation
- Respite Relief – Hidden Heroes
- Wounded Warrior Project (WWP)
- Disabled American Veterans (DAV)
- AARP Resources for Caregivers and their Families
- The Independence Fund
- Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving (RCI)
- Yellow Ribbon Fund
- Semper Fi Fund
- Wounded Warrior Family Support
- Military One Source
- Easter Seals
- Unspoken Heroes Program
- Blue Star Families
- Caregiver Action Network
VA will continue to support our families and caregivers and share resources from VA and the community.