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VETERAN AND SERVICE MEMBER RESOURCES

Dept. of Veterans Affairs Hotline, Staffed 24/7 with Mental Health professionals who can refer callers to one of more than 120 VA crisis centers closest to them. Their goal is to get the veteran the best immediate help needed: 800-273-8255.  Spanish speaking line is 888-628-9454.

If you’re a Veteran in crisis or concerned about one, responders at the Veterans Crisis Line online chat offer help that can make a difference. Caring, qualified VA professionals are standing by to provide free and confidential support. Use the Veterans Chat to get online support anonymously, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year — even if you’re not registered with VA or enrolled in VA health care. Responders will work with you to help you get through any personal crisis, even if that crisis does not involve thoughts of suicide.

Real Warriors Live Chat—A Real Voice with Real Answers 24/7: A trained health resource consultant is ready to talk, listen and provide the guidance and resources you’re looking for. Access our privacy policies and disclaimers to see our commitment to your confidentiality. Call 866-966-1020 or LOG ON24/7 — for Real Warriors Live Chat.

The PTSD Coach app can help you learn about and manage symptoms that commonly occur after trauma. Free PTSD Coach download from: iTunes and now also on Android Market. Together with professional medical treatment, PTSD Coach provides you dependable resources you can trust. If you have, or think you might have PTSD, this app is for you. Family and friends can also learn from this app. PTSD Coach was created by the VA’s National Center for PTSD and the DoD’s National Center for Telehealth and Technology.

Coaching into Care is a national VA call center for family members and friends of Veterans.  We provide support, a listening ear, information and referral, and a coaching service that helps callers improve their communication with a Veteran, self-care, and develop a plan to help their Veteran become engaged in mental health care if needed.  We are available M-F 8am to 8pm ET, after which our calls roll over to our partner, the Veterans Crisis Line.  Our number is (888) 823-7458.  Our web site: www.va.gov/coachingintocare.

Veteran Central enables Veterans, Families, and Supporters to access centralized resources scattered across the Internet in one secure, convenient online website . Members can find local support programs, browse Veteran resumes, participate in discussions, and chat instantly with our trained staff. Members add new resources, videos, articles, and podcasts weekly.

Veterans Resources at the NAMI website

Deployment & Your Brain: Normal Responses to Abnormal Circumstances. Program prepared by Massachusetts General Hospital Academy. Learn About:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Post-traumatic Stress (PTSD)
  • Depression
  • Substance Use

How it starts. How it looks. How it’s identified. How it’s treated.

MassVetsAdvisor.org Massachusetts veterans and their families now have access to one stop shopping for all of their needs by using this website to search through 230 benefits programs based on their service branch, time period and family needs. This website is a collaboration between the Massachusetts Broadband Institute, the state Department of Veterans’ Services, the Red Sox Foundation and the Massachusetts General Hospital Home Based Program.

VA Caregiver Support: Caring for those Who Care: Information and a toll-free National Caregiver Support Line 1-855-260-3274

The Veterans’ Administration offers a Special Pension with Aid and Attendance (A&A) benefit that is largely unknown.  This Special Pension (part of the VA Improved Pension program) allows for Veterans and surviving spouses who require the regular attendance of another person to assist in eating, bathing, dressing, undressing or taking care of the needs of nature to receive additional monetary benefits. It also includes individuals who are blind or a patient in a nursing home because of mental or physical incapacity.  Assisted care in an assisted living facility also qualifies.

The American Red Cross links members of the U.S. Armed Forces with their families during a crisis. Twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year, the Red Cross quickly sends emergency communications to deployed service members on behalf of their family.  Military members can have peace of mind knowing that when they are on a mission, in training or stationed far from home-and leaving cell phones and emails behind-they are still connected to home.

Militaryonesource.com is a 24/7 Resource for Military Members, Spouses and Families:

Online military support groups – connect to other Military Spouses and Significant Others:

MilitarySOS.com, the best support and information resource for military spouses and significant others of all branches, around the world. Connect to other Military Spouses and Significant Others:

FamilyOfaVet wants to help you find your way, find the information you need, and find a way not only to cope with life after combat… but to survive and thrive.

Operation PTSD.com is dedicated to assisting Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Veterans and providing tools for recovery. Creating awareness and providing educational material is a very simple way of breaking through to Veterans fighting the STIGMA of this destructive and persistent injury. Our mission also includes uncovering and providing resources each individual can use to become proactive in their recovery. By creating OperationPTSD.com our intention is to provide a Community approach to healing with a sense of camaraderie that gives additional support to each individual that would not otherwise exist in a traditional treatment setting.  A true for Veterans by Veterans organization. With our efforts to help Veterans we also intend to be a beacon of light to all PTSD sufferers outside the military community as well.

This site was made by some veterans, family of veterans and friends who work at Google. We understand the challenges of serving, coming home and transitioning to civilian life. We’ve been there. Some of us are still figuring it out. Here are some free Google products we’ve gathered together that have made our lives easier. Hopefully, they can do the same for you.

Fedshirevets.gov is an information gateway to federal employment for Veterans, transitioning service members, their families, federal human resource professionals and hiring managers.

VetJobs makes it easy to reach transitioning military, National Guard, Reserve Component Members and veterans that have separated over the last several decades and are now productive members of the civilian work force in all disciplines, and their family members.  VetJobs is a leading source for candidates with security clearances! Anyone may apply to the jobs on this site, but to post a resume you must have served in the United States military or been a member of a United States military family.

The Veterans Project helps military veterans reintegrate into society when they come home. Our mission is to remove the stigma associated with post-traumatic stress, and raise operating funds for groups that provide psychological care and job training to veterans in the aftermath of war. In collaboration with allies who share our vision, we create, acquire and distribute content for all media platforms, organize public-awareness campaigns and produce live events.

Vet to Vet is a consumer/provider partnership program that utilizes veterans in recovery in a peer-counseling capacity to help other veterans. Vet to Vet is administered by veterans who themselves have been consumers of VA mental-health services.

Transgender Vet to Vet Group: Veterans supporting Veterans:Transgender is a hard word to define. Any Veteran who for whatever reason has felt that expressing their gender has been a conflicting issue is welcome. We provide a safe, welcoming environment to share our experiences and needs. Any questions email: janicejosephinecarney@gmail.com

When: Every other Thursday (biweekly) 1:00 pm (Starting Thursday, December 1, 2011), Where: Veterans Hospital, JP Campus, VA Room 4C-12

SOFAR: Strategic Outreach to Families of All Reservists is a pro bono, mental health project that provides free psychological support, psychotherapy, psychoeducation and prevention services to extended family of reserve and national guard deployed during the Global War on Terrorism from time of alert through the period of reunion and reintegration.

Blinded Veteran Association provides support and resources for Veterans who are blind or visually impaired and their families. Members include Veterans with service-connected disabilities as well as those whose disabilities are not service-connected.

Where to Get Help for PTSD. Information from the VA on locating a mental health provider or counselor and finding information about treatments for PTSD.

Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents & Survivors – 2011 Edition: This booklet contains a summary of the benefits programs provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for which Veterans and their families may be eligible:

Gateway to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Information: The PTSD Information Center has Fact Sheets and Videos to answer your questions on trauma, PTSD and related issues. The National Center for Victims of Crime serves victims of any kind of crime, including those whose victimization results in PTSD. They have a Helpline, 1-800-FYI-CALL, and welcome your call.

Working in cooperation with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Home Base Program supports and serves veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars who are experiencing emotional and psychological difficulties readjusting to civilian life following deployment:

The Massachusetts Secretary of State’s Citizen Information Service and the Massachusetts Dept. of Veterans’ Services collaborated to produce a guide called Veterans’ Laws and Benefits

A Road Map through the Criminal Justice System for Persons with Mental Illness and Their Family presented by NAMI Massachusetts (PDF)

The Statesidelegal.org website has been designed especially to help low-income service members, veterans and their families.  For that reason, we focus on legal services that are available free of charge. We have indexed the three largest networks of free legal aid serving service members, veterans and their families.  Although there are not enough free legal services to help everyone, you may be able to find a free lawyer or advocate here

Brain Injury and Statewide Specialized Community Services A public program identifies, cultivates and develops resources and services for Massachusetts residents who have sustained an externally caused traumatic brain injury.

PTSD Anonymous – Confidential Support Groups Helps Iraq and Afghanistan-era Veterans feel good about themselves and heal from any negative aspects of service and war through the use of peer support . Provides free Weekend Workshops that focus on peer support.

War Related Illness and Injury Study Center (WRIISC) - Information for Providers

Assists Veterans in becoming healthy, sober and self-sufficient. Its Operation: Welcome Home Program focuses on OIF/OEF Veterans and their families, offering one-on-one counseling and case management, family counseling, employment assistance and Veterans’ benefits assistance.

Provides affordable housing, medical, psychological and spiritual care to Veterans who are diagnosed with a terminal illness, are elderly, disabled or are otherwise in need. The Northeast Veteran Training and Rehabilitation Center is specific to Iraq/Afghanistan Veterans with traumatic injuries.

Assists Veterans and Service Members with service-related traumatic brain injuries that occurred on or after 9/11/01 to achieve their optimum independence, productivity and successful re-integration into civilian life. This free, statewide program in Colorado develops and coordinates community and Veterans resources available to clients and their families. The site also includes links to state and national resources.

Many states offer veterans benefits. These benefits may include educational grants and scholarships, special exemptions or discounts on fees and taxes, home loans, veteran’s homes, free hunting and fishing privileges, and more:

The National Resource Directory (NRD) is an online tool for wounded, ill and injured Service Members, Veterans, their families, and those who support them. The NRD provides access to more than 11,000 services and resources at the national, state and local levels that support recovery, rehabilitation and community reintegration:

SAVE = Statewide Advocacy for Veterans’ Empowerment = prevention of suicide and advocating on behalf of Mass veterans. Save will act as a liasion between veterans and their families and the various agencies within the federal and state governments. A team of SAVE Outreach Coordinators will focus on community advocacy, suicide prevention, mental health awareness, and referrals. 1-888-844-2838

National Center for PTSD

VA Aid & Attendance Benefits, information from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) about a variety of pension benefits, including “Aid & Attendance” services that can help a veteran perform personal functions required in everyday living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, adjusting prosthetic devices and other activities of daily living.

The Massachusetts Bar Association (MBA) has announced a supplement to its monthly Dial-A-Lawyer programs: a session dedicated solely to veterans’ legal questions. The free program will run on Thursdays, starting October 16 from 5:30-7:30pm. Volunteer lawyers will field phone calls and answer questions an any legal issue, including those related to state and federal benefits. Lawyers will be available by phone from 5:30-7:30pm. This free program is open to Massachusetts residents who are veterans of the armed services. The Veterans Dial-A-Lawyer program is provided at no charge as a public service of the MBA. The Dial-A-Lawyer phone number is 617-338-0610.

Support Groups for Woman Veterans

RISE, Greater Boston Spinal Cord Injury Association . Reaching out to those affected by SCI. Inspiring the newly injured through role models and peer mentors. Supporting individuals and families as they begin their post-injury journeys. Empowering those with SCI to fulfill their goals and dreams. http://www.sciboston.org/

The Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts (BIA-MA) is a clearinghouse for information and resources regarding brain injury; it also provides informal counseling to individuals and families that are dealing with brain injury. The organization conducts advocacy training, develops and presents programs in prevention awareness, hosts educational conferences, and advocates for legislation and improved medical services.

Brain Injury Network, National non-profit agency operated for and by survivors of acquired brain injury (abi), which includes traumatic brain injury (tbi), stroke, brain illness and brain tumor. Provides advocacy, information and referral, peer support, Internet social community, 5,000+ resource and link directory.

Massachusetts Dept. of Veterans Services:

Afterdeployment.org , a mental wellness and behavioral health website addressing post-deployment issues for all Service Members, Veterans, and Military Families:

Operation Family Fund provides financial assistance to eligible members or family of eligible members who were an employee or contractor working for the U.S. federal government and had been performing duties in conjunction with the war on terror and/or Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom at the time of their death or severe disability.

Learn about the Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program, which allows institutions of higher learning (degree granting institutions) in the United States to voluntarily enter into an agreement with VA to fund tuition expenses that exceed the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition rate. See a list of participating institutions:

Stand Down refers to a grassroots, community-based intervention program designed to help the nation’s estimated 200,000 homeless veterans “combat” life on the streets . Homeless veterans are brought together in a single location for one to three days and are provided access to the community resources needed to begin addressing their individual problems and rebuilding their lives. Here’s a link to a Stand Down Guide:

Veterans Outreach and Counseling in Massachusetts are non-profit organizations that receive state money through DVS to assist veterans and their families with a range of services. These vary by location and can include: Assistance and referrals to obtain federal and state veterans’ benefits; Food pantry and clothing closets, Transportation services; Community activities; Peer counseling;  Professional counseling; Substance abuse counseling; Anger management; and Post-traumatic stress counseling:

VA New England Healthcare System:

Giveanhour.org, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free mental health services to U.S. military personnel and their families affected by the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan:

Operation Healthy Reunions, Information for troops and their families:

American Veterans with Brain Injuries (AVBI) was organized in 2004 as a grassroots effort whose mission is to offer support to the families of American Servicemembers and Veterans who have suffered traumatic brain injuries

Refinance & Mortgage Guide for U.S Veterans - This mortgage guide for veterans is offered as an educational resource for those interested in understanding the home ownership possibilities available through the Veterans Affairs Mortgage Loan Programs. Not only can those presently on active duty benefit, but honorably-discharged veterans, their spouses, surviving un-remarried widows and widowers, Reservists, National Guard participants, and Public Health Service workers may also find this information to be helpful. Even the surviving spouses of those military personnel currently listed as MIA or POW may qualify for VA home loans.

Housing and Mortgages for Veterans This guide will help veterans and active military to understand the benefits of, types of, and eligibility requirements for VA Loans.

CORI Assistance. Nowadays criminal background checks are conducted for employment, housing, and other purposes. A potential employer or a private company may conduct a review of your criminal record (CORI) and/or your credit record; driving record; educational background, etc.

Help Is Available: If you are having problems obtaining employment or housing because of a criminal record background check, sign up for a private, one-on-one information session with representatives from the Volunteer Lawyers Project, who are available at JobNet Boston twice per month to conduct a private review of CORI.

Get a Copy of Your CORI: For help with your CORI review you must bring a recent copy of your criminal record. Request a copy of your CORI online or at the JobNet front desk.

Meet for a Private Review: To set up a private review session, call Michael at JobNet 617-338-0809, x217.

Dates: Legal staff from the Volunteer Lawyers Project are at JobNet twice a month, on Wednesday from 10:00 AM till 2:00 PM by appointment (30 minute sessions).  April 20, May 4, May 18, June 1

The Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) is the official U.S. Army program that assists and advocates for severely wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers, Veterans, and their Families, wherever they are located, regardless of military status.

National Veterans Foundation: To Serve the crisis management, information and referral needs of all U.S. Veterans and their families through: Management and operation of the nation’s only toll-free helpline for all veterans and their families. Public awareness programs that shine a consistent spotlight on the needs of America’s veterans. Outreach services that provide veterans and families in need with food, clothing, transportation, employment, and other essential resources.

Mass. Dept. of Veterans Services Employment & Training

The Employer Partnership (EP) was created as a way to provide America’s employers with a direct link to some of America’s finest employees – Service members and their families. Through the partnership, Service members can leverage their military training and experience for career opportunities in today’s civilian job market with national, regional and local Employer Partners.

InCharge Education Foundation, Inc. (www.inchargefoundation.org) developed Military MoneyTM to provide an authoritative financial resource for military families. Military Money shares information on educational opportunities, education funding, saving, banking, investing, retirement and credit as well as empowering career and lifestyle resources. Created as part of the U.S. Department of Defense’s “Financial Readiness Campaign” with the support of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, Military Money Online reaches an annual audience of over 300,000. Military Money Minute radio broadcasts are heard daily on American Forces Radio Network and the U.S. Army’s Soldiers Radio and Television Network. Military Money Podcasts are streamed and downloaded by over 8000 people a month.

Free program of the nation’s certified public accountants to help Americans understand their personal finances through every stages of their life.

Soldier On is a non-profit organization that works in partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs and other agencies to provide veterans with both shelter and support.

A new generation of Veterans now joins our Veterans of previous eras. In fact, more than 2.2 million Service men and women have been deployed to Middle Eastern combat zones. As our heroes continue to return to communities across our country – including your community – many bring with them serious medical and health care challenges that require unique needs and requirements for care.  As a result, the importance of having the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Veterans Health Administration grows and grows.

New and growing challenges require additional highly skilled nurses, physicians, pharmacists and other health care professionals. Click here to learn more about Careers at the VA.

 

National Center for PTSD homepage