Holiday Check-In: Reach Out To Veterans In Your Community

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Holiday Check-In: Reach Out To Veterans In Your Community

A PROMISE TO OUR VETERANS

On the VA’s website is this quote: “To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan…” — from President Lincoln’s Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address (1865).

With those words, President Lincoln affirmed our nation’s obligation to care for and provide healing for Veterans and their families. Veterans have the right to get the help they need to transition back from their time in service or in combat. If you or someone you know is a Veteran who is feeling isolated or overwhelmed, please know that there are VA healthcare professionals, Veteran’s wellness groups and faith-based organizations that are here to talk, listen and help you find a path towards balance and healing. 

HOLIDAY STRESS CAN LEAD TO CRISIS

For the men and women who serve in our military, their biggest battle can be coming home and transitioning to civilian life. Veterans suffering from injuries or trauma can find non-military life especially challenging. Often, these challenges are compounded by significant dates or occasions — causing feelings of isolation, stress and anxiety. So while we wish everyone a joyful holiday season, please keep our Veterans in your thoughts. Check-in with Veterans in your family, at your workplace or in your community. We invite businesses, groups, churches and individuals to get involved. 


REMEMBER… 

As a Veteran or someone seeking help for a Veteran, it’s important to reinforce the following…
— You are not alone.
— Seeking help is a strength not a weakness.
— You deserve care for your wounds (both physical and psychological).
— Help is here. Free of charge. And just a phone call or a click away! 

VETERANS CRISIS LINE:

Free access • 24/7 support • Connect with a real person qualified to support Veterans

If you feel that you or someone you know needs immediate attention, please call the Veterans Crisis Line…

“You're not alone—the Veterans Crisis Line is here for you. You don't have to be enrolled in VA benefits or health care to call.”

— Dial 988 then Press 1

— Or Text 838255

— Or visit the Veteran Crisis Line Resource Page at https://www.veteranscrisisline.net


WELLNESS RESOURCES FOR VETERANS

If you’re not sure how to help, below are some great places to start.


NATIONAL VETERANS ADVOCACY GROUPS

Vet Centers — list of locations nationwidewww.va.gov/find-locations

American Veterans (AMVETS) — List of contacts by city and state www.amvets.org/find-a-post

Disabled American Veterans (DAV) — List of contacts by city and statewww.dav.org/veterans/find-your-local-office

American Legion — List of contacts by city and statemylegion.org/PersonifyEbusiness/Find-a-Post

Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) — List of contacts by city and statewww.vfw.org/contact-us

Veterans for Common Sense -- veteransforcommonsense.org/contact-us


ACTIVITY-BASED WELLNESS GROUPS FOR VETS

Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association — www.combatvet.us

American Legion Riders —www.legion.org/riders

Summit for Soldiers (Hiking/Climbing/Outdoors) — www.summitforsoldiers.org

Team RWB (Outdoor Activities, Traditional and Adaptive) — https://about.teamrwb.org

Equine Therapy Group (Endorsed by Military.com News) —www.equinetherapygroup.com/what-we-offer/ptsd


MUSIC AND ART-BASED WELLNESS GROUPS FOR VETS

American Art Therapy Association (find a Therapist in your area) —  https://arttherapy.org/art-therapist-locator

American Music Therapy Association (find a Therapist in your area) — https://www.musictherapy.org/about/find/

Freedom Sings USA — Free music arts therapy meetings held online and in-person. For more info, please see our weekly meeting schedule at https://www.freedomsingsusa.org/locations


ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

The Defense Centers of Excellence: Provides 24/7 help for psychological health issues.texvet.org/resources/defense-centers-excellence

Military One Source
( Provides non-medical counseling services online, via telephone, or in-person, as well as access to other mental health resources.)www.militaryonesource.mi


HOW ORGANIZATIONS CAN HELP

Your business, nonprofit, church or community-based organization can help Veterans in the following ways: 

• Provide Veterans with transportation to medical appointments. 

• Help recently housed Veterans obtain furniture and housing supplies. 

• Educate yourself, Veterans, and others about VA benefits and services and how a Veteran can apply for them. 

• Learn the signs of a Veteran or a Veteran's family member in distress. 

• Encourage Veterans to use the VA services she or he has earned. 

• Volunteer with the VA Voluntary Service. 

• Visit a hospitalized Veteran. 

• Provide drop-off child care services for a Veteran family with young children. 

• Establish a Veterans/Military Ministry. 


WARNING SIGNS OF CRISIS

These are some of the warning signs indicating that a person might be in crisis and need urgent help:

• Expressing that they want to die or want to harm themselves

• Talking about feeling hopeless, unneeded or being a burden to others

• Isolating — withdrawing or feeling alone

• Describing pain that they feel is unbearable and inescapable

• Increased use of drugs and/or alcohol

• Demonstrating mood swings, anxiousness, rage or recklessness

• Sleep disorders — irregular sleep, sleeping too little or too much


VETERANS CRISIS LINE:

Free access • 24/7 support • Connect with a real person qualified to support Veterans

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the Veterans Crisis Line…

“You're not alone—the Veterans Crisis Line is here for you. You don't have to be enrolled in VA benefits or health care to call.”

— Dial 988 then Press 1

— Or Text 838255

— Or visit the Veteran Crisis Line Resource Page at https://www.veteranscrisisline.net

Healing through the power of music.

Whether you're a veteran looking for a safe place to share your story, a songwriter who wants to help give a voice to those who have served, or an organization looking to support our efforts, we invite you to connect with us and find out how to get started.