Military life, especially deployments or mobilizations, can present challenges to service members and their families that are both unique and difficult. Some are manageable, some are not. Many times we can successfully deal with them on our own. In some instances matters get worse and one problem can trigger other more serious issues. At such times it is wise to check things out and see what is really happening. That’s the purpose of these totally anonymous and voluntary self-assessments.
These questions are designed so you can review your situation with regard to some of the more common mental health issues. The screening will not provide a diagnosis – for that you need to see a professional. But, it will tell you whether or not you have symptoms that are consistent with a condition or concern that would benefit from further evaluation or treatment. It will also give you guidance as to where you might seek assistance.
National Center for TeleHealth and Technology
The National Center for TeleHealth and Technology has developed a number of helpful mobil apps for the military community and care providers as noted below:
BioZen is one of the first mobile applications to provide users with live biofeedback data from multiple wearable body sensors covering a range of biophysiological signals, including electroencephalogram (EEG), electromyography (EMG), galvanic skin response (GSR), electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG), respiratory rate, and temperature biofeedback data and display it on a mobile phone.
Breathe2Relax is a portable stress management tool. Built on the iPhone mobile app platform, Breathe2Relax is a hands-on diaphragmatic breathing exercise.
Co-occurring Conditions Toolkit (CCT) offers primary care providers hip-pocket access to critical information and allows for seamless integration of new material, leading to improved quality of care, increased use of evidence-based treatment recommendations, enhanced provider-patient interactions, and more appropriate specialty referrals.
LifeArmor is a comprehensive learning and self-management tool to assist members of the military community with common mental health concerns. Touch-screen technology allows the user to browse information on 17 topics, including sleep, depression, relationship issues, and post-traumatic stress. Brief self-assessments help the user measure and track their symptoms, and tools are available to assist with managing specific problems. Videos relevant to each topic provide personal stories from other service members, veterans, and military family members.
The Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Pocket Guide mobile application for health care providers gives instant access to a comprehensive quick-reference guide on improving care for mTBI patients. Designed to reflect current clinical standards of care, the mTBI Pocket Guide mobile application can help you improve quality of care and clinical outcomes for patients.
PTSD Coach was developed to help people who have, or may have, PTSD. PTSD Coach offers a number of simple and effective ways to:
- Manage symptoms like troubling memories, sleeplessness, anger, and nightmares.
- Understand PTSD’s causes, development, treatment, and the recovery process.
- Find support in your community, either from people you know or public resources.
PE Coach will help providers and patients overcome certain barriers to PE implementation, dissemination, and adherence.
T2 Mood Tracker is a mobile application that allows users to self-monitor, track and reference their emotional experience over a period of days, weeks and months using a visual analogue rating scale.
The Tactical Breather application can be used to gain control over physiological and psychological responses to stress.
The organizations listed below support the warrior and family.
Branches of Valor (Eugene, OR)
Branches of Valor seeks to rekindle the hope of military members, veterans and their families--whose lives have been touched by war--by facilitating:
- Christ-centered solutions
Branches of Valor offers resiliency groups, peer mentors, retreats, conferences and events.
Find other warriors and families experiencing life after war.
Courage Beyond (formerly Not Alone) is a national non-profit organization that provides confidential, no-cost programs and services to warriors and their families facing post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and combat stress.
In 2008 a group of warriors and professionals discovered a significant gap in the government's capacity to help warriors and their families come home from war. There needed to be a confidential online community where those warriors could congregate to help each other. Our personal experiences with war trauma led us to reach out to those that need help.
Courage Beyond draws on a unique group of individuals with personal experience in the Iraq and Afghanistan war. We have been in your shoes. We have struggled to regain our lives and to find the new normal at home. Professionals, warriors and experts have been vital in helping to bring the Not Alone vision into reality. We've been through the experience of war and returning home from war and hope that our persistence, experience and passion can help others in their journey as well. We understand. We get it.
Love Our Vets
Hope, help and support for spouses, families and all loved ones of veterans, and those who serve, especially if they struggle with PTSD.
Make the Connection
Connecting veterans and their friends and family members with information, resources, and solutions to issues affecting their lives.
Military Minds (Canada)
"I decided to take my experience with PTSD and put it forward to educate others and help those who are like me. Visit us here often to get a unique insight into the lives of soldiers with PTSD. My hope is to raise funds through sales of Military Minds apparel as well as donations to help those who have selflessly served our country." Chris Dupee, Founder of Military Minds
Operation New Normal
We exist to bridge the gap between Combat Trauma Sufferer and Combat Trauma Survivor.
Our mission is to let Combat Veterans and their spouses/families know that they are not alone. What they are going through is a normal reaction to an abnormal set of circumstances.
In February 2004, I was traumatically injured in Iraq, after several years of not dealing with the resulting issues, my family suffered the consequences; financially, emotionally, and spiritually. Once I made the decision to face the issues, I began a journey that has empowered me to aid other combat veterans in their path for recovery.
Currently, we reach out to soldiers through a free weekend retreat where they meet fellow soldiers and hear testimonies of of the same struggles they face everyday, and how these struggles can be overcome. Immediately afterward, all who attend are encourages to join us in our weekly meetings where we dive into the issues at hand, while focusing on the very root of the problem.
Point Man Ministries
Point Man Ministries is run by veterans from all conflicts, nationalities and backgrounds. Although, the primary focus of Point Man has always been to offer spiritual healing from PTSD, Point Man today is involved in group meetings, publishing, hospital visits, conferences, supplying speakers for churches and veteran groups, welcome home projects and community support. Just about any where there are Vets there is a Point Man presence. All services offered by Point Man are free of charge.
Outposts are lead by Christian Vets who care deeply about veterans and their struggles. They fully understand the difficulties associated with returning home after a long and difficult deployment as well as the non-combat experiences. Outposts are places for veterans to talk, share and listen to others who have walked in their shoes. All Vets are welcome regardless of what country they served with and gender is irrelevant as both men and women have served and sacrificed for their respective countries. Homefront groups are lead by Christian mothers, wives and friends of both active duty military and veterans. They provide an understanding ear and caring heart that only those left behind at home can understand. They have experienced the stress of dealing with deployments and the effects of a loved one returning home from war. If you have someone you love deployed or having issues readjusting since coming home get connected with a local group or contact HQ for assistance.
Veterans talking with veterans - "you are not alone." A future network of local self-help groups.
Learn about posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from Veterans who live with it every day. Hear their stories. Find out how treatment turned their lives around.
Our mission is to help you and your loved ones manage the challenges that are often faced following a deployment.
Here you will find information and self-guided solutions for dealing with post-traumatic stress and war memories; conflict at work; depression; anger; sleep problems; alcohol and drug abuse; stress; relationship problems; kids and deployment; spiritual guidance and fitness; living with physical injuries; and health and wellness.
Family of a Vet
This site is dedicated to you... whether you're a veteran or someone who loves a veteran. It was created trying to figure out how to handle the "after shocks" of combat including PTSD and TBI . We're here 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!
Make the Connection
Make the Connection is a public awareness campaign by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that provides personal testimonials and resources to help Veterans discover ways to improve their lives. Many of our Nation’s Veterans—from those who served in World War II to those involved in current conflicts—return not only with physical wounds but also mental health issues they may not recognize.
The Make the Connection campaign encourages Veterans and their families to "make the connection"— with information and resources, with the strength and resilience of Veterans like themselves, with other people, and with available sources of support including mental health treatments.
Central to this campaign is MakeTheConnection.net, a one-stop resource where Veterans and their families and friends can privately explore information about physical and mental health symptoms, challenging life events, and mental health conditions. On this site, Veterans and their families and friends can learn about available resources and support.
Powerful personal stories and testimonials are at the heart of Making the Connection, illustrating how Veterans face and overcome mental health issues and challenges. These stories and testimonials come from Veterans of all service eras, genders, and backgrounds and each of them provides a resounding and compelling example of the positive outcomes for treatment, recovery, and the many paths to more fulfilling lives.
Through Veterans’ own voices, Veterans have the chance to hear from trusted and credible sources—other Veterans like themselves. MakeTheConnection.net helps Veterans recognize that there are people out there like them who are going through similar experiences, overcoming challenges, reaching positive outcomes for treatment and recovery, and finding paths to fulfilling lives.
Married to Someone with PTSD - Top 10 Tips (Article)
A military spouse shares her Top 10 on living with a combat-injured, PTSD veteran.
PTSD Program Locater
This site can help you find a VA PTSD program near you.
Curriculum for family members
Support and Family Education (SAFE) Program
The Support And Family Education (SAFE) Program is an 18-session family education curriculum to support families in dealing with a loved one's PTSD or mental illness. Each session contains didactic information, handouts, discussion questions, and activities. The entire curriculum is available for free download on our website.
Emergency responders (Silent Siren)
Silent Siren Partnership Program for emergency responders
Silent Siren is a “grassroots” level initiative. Specific implementation of the program will vary by community. Silent Siren is here to discuss best practices and to support you throughout the process as you plan for and implement the Silent Siren program.
Silent Siren consists of 3 core elements:
1. Establishment of a community PTSD Registry 2. PTSD training for emergency services personnel and military families 3. Implementation of a family/caregiver support system
Silent Siren’s goal is to be integrated into a community’s existing 911 system, enabling police, fire, ambulance and hospital emergency responders to be as prepared as possible for the unique challenges of a crisis situation that includes those effected by PTSD and other mental illnesses.
America's Heroes at Work
America's Heroes at Work is a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) project that addresses the employment challenges of returning service members living with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and/or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - an important focus of the President's veterans agenda. The project equips employers and the workforce development system with the tools they need to help returning service members affected by TBI and/or PTSD succeed in the workplace - particularly service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Finding God in the PTSD Battle (Military Ministry Devotional)
Mrs. Lorrie Pies and her husband Chaplain (Major) Kevin Pies have been good friends of Military Ministry over the years. Lorrie, writer of these Military Ministry devotionals, blessed hundreds of PTSD sufferers as she struggled herself with breast cancer. Lorrie breathed her last breath and entered into the Lord’s glorious mansion on September 21st, 2008.
“Finding God in the PTSD Battle.”
Family and friends fact sheets
Family and Friends List of Fact Sheets - US Dept. of Veterans Affairs
Provides information about the effects of trauma on families, children, relationships, and communities.
Army Behavioral Health - Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have questions about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)? Find answers to commonly asked questions regarding this disorder.
Female veterans with PTSD
The Lotus Project (Bush Cares Project)
The Lotus flower is planted in mud and yet still grows upwards toward the light to break through the other side clean and beautiful. Our female veterans are growing stronger physically through combat, yet are stuck in the mud of sexual trauma, separation anxiety from their children, PTSD, and homelessness. The mission of The Lotus Project is to empower female veterans to rebuild their lives after military service with numerous services offered.
VA - Issues Specific to Women
Women report exposure to many different types of traumatic events, and are especially likely to experience sexual assault in childhood, adulthood, or both. Sexual assault is a type of trauma that often leads to the onset of PTSD for both women and men. Given greater exposure to this type of trauma, women are particularly at risk for PTSD. These fact sheets have information that is specific to women and trauma.
- Rape of Women in a War Zone
- Sexual Assault against Females
- Traumatic Stress in Women Veterans
- Women's Mental Health Services in the VA
Women's Trauma Recovery Program
More than a decade ago, the Department of Veterans Affairs opened the National Women's Trauma Recovery Program (WTRP) as part of the National Center for PTSD at Menlo Park, CA. The WTRP, designed to treat women veterans with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), is the first residential program of its kind and is open to women across the country. Many of the women who are referred to the program were sexually assaulted during their military service and suffer what is now referred to as Military Sexual Trauma (MST).
The WTRP is intensive 60-day residential program with a strong emphasis on interpersonal skills. The initial two weeks of treatment involve psychological and psychosocial assessments in order to develop comprehensive treatment plans. Women come into the program in classes, or cohorts, and work together to problem-solve, learn effective communication, and better manage their PTSD/MST symptoms.
Guide for returning military personnel
Returning from the War Zone
Interactive tool for families of troubled troops
Family of Heroes - Avatar-Based Resiliency and PTSD Training for Veteran Families (Kognito.com)
Veterans' families in downstate New York and New Jersey are able to access this for free. It may be made available to other veterans' families in 2012.
Family of Heroes is a role-playing resiliency training simulation where family members learn essential skills to manage common challenges facing families in adjusting to post-deployment life. This includes managing expectations from their veteran’s return, learning to
identify post-deployment stress, and managing conversations with the goals of de-escalating arguments, negotiating family responsibilities, and, if needed, motivating the veteran to seek help for post-deployment stress, PTSD, TBI, or suicidal ideation.
Kognito is an award-winning developer of online role-playing simulations and games where users build interpersonal skills to effectively manage challenging conversations in the areas of health and behavioral health. These simulations provide organizations with cost-effective solutions for training large or geographically dispersed audiences with engaging and effective learning tools that include deliberate practice and personalized feedback.
Camp Hope - (Northwest Harris County, Texas)
Camp Hope will provide interim housing for our Wounded Warriors, veterans and their families in a caring and positive environment. Our goal is to open Camp Hope in 2012 with the initial capacity of 20 residential and family units. Camp Hope is located in a quiet and safe setting whereby veterans and their immediate family members can find healing, help and hope while benefiting from intensive treatment for Post Traumatic Stress under the care of licensed professionals, pastors and their peer mentors.
The Camp Hope staff understands that those who have served this nation are still struggling with the invisible wounds of combat and we are working to assist our troops in putting the pieces of their lives back together. The Camp Hope staff will use the necessary traditional counseling tools and incorporate a faith based approach to help combat the effects of Post Traumatic Stress. Simultaneously staff will be assisting troops with a myriad of issues to include job placement, transportation and peer support groups integration. The Camp Hope community will embrace our troops, veterans and their families as they seek the rewarding and fulfilling lives they so richly deserve.
Bob Woodruff Foundation
Since September 11, 2001, 2.5 million troops have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Now, they’re coming home.
Yet even after they return to the love and support of their families and communities, many will struggle. Physical and hidden injuries are challenging on their own. But sometimes, these injuries can lead to a cascade of other trouble — unemployment, depression, substance abuse, even suicide.
Our mission is to ensure injured veterans and their families are thriving long after they return home. That’s why we find and fund innovative programs in communities where veterans, their families and caregivers live and work. That’s how we tackle the problems that can prevent our veterans from fulfilling their dreams for the next chapter of their lives.
Ghost Rider Foundation (NE Ohio)
The Ghost Rider Foundation (GRF) is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to assist veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces who have PTSD, specifically in the NE Ohio area.
Hearts Toward Home
Hearts Toward Home International, is a non-profit charitable organization, that has been structured for the purpose of providing support, counseling, training, educational classes, materials, and re-integration and re-adjustment workshop/forums for military personnel (both active duty and veterans) and their families after war-time service.
The activities of Hearts Toward Home International are carried out with special emphasis on addressing issues that prevent present military personnel, as well as all war veterans, from re-entering society and having a quality life. The organizational purpose is to come to the aid of those war-fighters who have been exposed to traumatic experiences and who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after serving in military hazard zones. Additionally, HTH International is equipped to train facilitators and counselors in the skills of re-integrating military personnel with loved ones, and the civilian environs to which they return.
National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
The National Center for PTSD (NCPTSD) aims to advance the clinical care and social welfare of U.S. Veterans through research, education and training on PTSD and stress-related disorders. The PTSD Information Center has Fact Sheets and Videos to answer your questions on trauma, PTSD and related issues.
PTSD Foundation of America
Today more than ever there is a need for support. PTSD is a real problem that needs strong answers. If we can come together to face this disorder head-on we can address the issues that need our care and attention the most. Let's work together to manage this illness and give our troops the respect and support they need and deserve.
The Real Warriors Campaign is an initiative launched by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) to promote the processes of building resilience, facilitating recovery and supporting reintegration of returning service members, veterans and their families.
The Real Warriors Campaign combats the stigma associated with seeking psychological health care and treatment and encourages service members to increase their awareness and use of these resources. To reach the broadest audience possible, the campaign features a variety of strategies including outreach and partnerships, print materials, media outreach, an interactive Web site and social media. The campaign features stories of real service members who have sought treatment and are continuing to maintain successful military or civilian careers. In addition, DCoE established the DCoE Outreach Center, a 24/7 call center staffed by health resource consultants to provide confidential answers, tools, tips and resources about psychological health and traumatic brain injury. The Outreach Center can be reached toll-free at 866-966-1020 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
Real Warriors, Real Advice is a weekly podcast series in which warriors, veterans and military families highlight the importance of seeking care for invisible wounds and offer tools and tips on building and maintaining psychological resilience. Access and download selected episodes HERE or subscribe to receive weekly updates automatically.
VA's Gateway to Mental Health
Dealing with a mental health problem is hard enough. Getting help for these issues should not be hard. VA provides numerous ways for Veterans to get the help they may need to keep mentally healthy.
The best place to start looking is on this VA Mental Health site. Here, you will find links to learn more about dealing with:
You can also find a program that will help you and your loved ones.
Vietnam Veteran Wives
Helping all veterans and their families.
Vietnam Veteran Wives was created to reach out to Veterans, their spouses and families. Vietnam Veteran Wives was created by the wife and widow of a Vietnam Veteran, who saw a much needed area for improvement concerning subjects such as: Benefits for spouses and children, VA Claims, PTSD issues, DIC claims, informing veterans of what benefits are available to them and to their families, after their time in service. In addition to bringing to light the fact that the VA system leaves the Spouse and families of Veterans behind when it comes to services they provide.
Vietnam Veteran Wives is working hard to provide counselors for both individual and families, claims filing, making arrangements for transportation to local VAMC’s, conducting “Stand-Downs” for veterans in rural areas to provide much needed clothing, blankets and socialization for Vets and their families. To provide a resource for Veterans and their spouse’s to turn to for guidance as to the question “where do we go from here”.
One of the main issues is the fact that during “out processing” most veterans do not obtain the knowledge of what is available to them. Vietnam Veteran Wives steps in here to be a solid backbone for the voices of Veterans and their families to turn to for that much needed knowledge and support.
Welcome Back Veterans
Welcome Back Veterans (WBV) was created to inspire Americans to give back to our returning veterans and their families. These heroes were there when we needed them--they served us all and kept us safe--and it's our turn to be there for them. WBV is committed to transforming the lives of our returning veterans by changing the way people think and talk about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) while providing ongoing treatment for veterans and their families in addition to funding research.
Restore Warriors (Wounded Warrior Project)
Our goal is to help wounded service members and their families who are struggling with the impact of combat stress in their daily lives.
Restore Warriors has been created to provide:
- Information about combat stress-related injuries
- Help to assess your emotions and behaviors
- Reassurance that you are not alone - an estimated 600,000 military personnel and veterans will suffer from invisible injuries
- Hope that you can successfully deal with these symptoms
- Help to renew your self-confidence
- Assistance to build stronger relationships
- A new sense of well-being
Restore Warriors is an anonymous website where real warriors share their personal stories, situations, and strategies for fellow warriors and their families to help themselves deal with real life, everyday issues related to combat stress, PTSD, and brain injuries.
Eight self-help modules plus a brief self-assessment will give you feedback about which module might be the most useful for you.
Take an important step in your recovery, get started today!
Accepting the Ashes
In a time of war, what happens once a soldier comes home? Accepting the Ashes is for American military men and women, and all those who love them. The book is one daughter’s attempt to increase communication among veteran families so that long-term healing can occur. It does not attempt to diagnose or treat any veteran. It is written from the perspective of an adult daughter, honestly highlighting one man and how PTSD negatively affected him and his family.
In addition to assisting many American families deal with PTSD, Accepting the Ashes is being used by a growing number of VA Chaplains and National Guard Family Readiness Offices around the country to aid their veterans, families and volunteers as they attempt to understand and treat Post Traumatic Stress. Also, the director of the National Chaplain Center has included Accepting the Ashes as a resource for a new program that trains community members around the country to help veterans as they return from Iraq or Afghanistan.
Courage to Care, Courage to Talk....about War Injuries
A campaign to help healthcare providers and families communicate more effectively about war injuries.
Military OneSource (MOS) supplements existing family programs by providing a website and a worldwide, 24 hour, seven-day-a-week information and referral telephone service to ALL active, Guard and Reserve Soldiers, deployed civilians and their families. MOS services are provided at no-cost.This site is designed to help military families deal with life's issues. Call 1-800-342-9647 for confidential, compassionate support.
Military OneSource can provide information on topics such as parenting and child care, education, relocation, financial and legal matters, emotional issues, well-being, grief and loss, addiction, and deployment and reunion issues. Need to file a state or federal tax return? You can do both online through Military OneSource. Also, you can ask for free educational materials in many subject areas. Booklets, CDs, or articles will be sent free of charge if you want information on such things as buying your first car, relationship issues, or many other topics.
A website with many PTSD resources compiled by a veteran.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Has resources for veterans and their families
- Suicide Prevention for Veterans
- Finding Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
- Resources for Military Families Coping with Trauma
- Mental Health Transformation Trends