Below are helpful resources for both active-duty service members and veterans.
Veterans Crisis Line
Their confidential phone line — 1-800-273-8255 — provides free help for veterans and their families, and is staffed by qualified VA responders — many of whom are veterans themselves.
This free service, provided by the Department of Defense to service members and their families, offers help for a broad range of concerns including money management, spouse employment and education, parenting and child care, relocation, deployment, reunion, and the particular concerns of families with special-needs members.
To access advice and help by individual service branch:
ARMY – 800-464-8107
MARINES – 800-869-0278
NAVY – 800-540-4123
AIR FORCE – 800-707-5784
Joining Forces: Veterans Jobs Bank
President Obama’s national initiative seeks to “give our service members and their families the opportunities and support they deserve.” The Joining Forces site lists several websites that specialize in connecting unemployed veterans to job opportunities and training.
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross provides access to emergency communication services, financial assistance resources, and other forms of help to veterans and their families. A zip code tool helps users find their local Red Cross chapters.
Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury
The DCE services U.S. service members, families and veterans by focusing on psychological health and traumatic brain injury prevention and care. The DCE website also houses TRICARE, a health care program for active and retired military personnel.
The National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
The National Center for PTSD was created within the Department of Veterans Affairs in 1989, in response to a Congressional mandate to address the needs of veterans with military-related PTSD. The website provides educational and clinical resources concerning PTSD and other enduring consequences of traumatic stress.
U.S. Department of Defense Suicide Outreach
This specialized site features suicide support hotlines, assessments and treatment options, professional resources and forums, and various multimedia tools designed to provide information that meets service members’ specific needs. This site supports all members of the U.S. military — active and reserve, veterans, families, friends and providers.
Veterans Benefits Administration
The VBA provides information about compensation and benefits, and provides online applications. It features a resource page for veterans dealing with mental health issues, and information about local vet centers offering readjustment counseling.
Veterans History Project
A Project of the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress, this project relies on volunteers to collect and preserve stories of wartime service. Users can search the collection by name, service location, rank, and medals, and add their own stories to the permanent collection, including audio and video. Learn more about how to contribute to this project.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America
Founded in June 2004, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America is the nation’s first and largest group dedicated to the troops and veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the civilian supporters of those troops and veterans. The IAVA is active in Washington and is tracking legislation related to protecting education benefits in the GI Bill, employing veterans and stemming the tide of service member suicides.
National Coalition for Homeless Veterans
Founded in 1990 by a group of community-based homeless veteran service providers, the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV) works to eliminate homelessness in the veteran community, serving as a liaison between branches of the federal government and community-based homeless veteran service providers.
Screening for Mental Health
Military Pathways (formerly the Mental Health Self-Assessment Program) offers service personnel and their families the opportunity to take anonymous, mental health and alcohol use self-assessments online, via the phone and through special events held at installations. The self-assessments address post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, generalized anxiety disorder, alcohol use and bipolar disorder.
Veterans of Foreign Wars
The VFW is the oldest nonprofit veterans service organization, serving as a voice for veterans and a catalyst for change in improving veterans’ benefits through community service programs and special projects.
FRONTLINE: The Soldier’s Heart
This FRONTLINE documentary explores post-traumatic stress disorder in returning Iraq War veterans. The site includes extensive interviews with military and medical experts, a literary history of combat stress and other readings, a reporter’s diary and other resources. You can watch the entire episode online.