PTSD Resource Guide

When most people think of PTSD, they usually imagine dramatic scenes from movies and TV shows. However, for thousands of US Veterans and their families, PTSD is a harsh reality. Day after day, they grapple with the invisible wounds of service and combat, navigating the labyrinth of emotions and memories that can surface long after.

Unfortunately, many have to do it on their own, falling victim to endless myths and misconceptions about PTSD and, generally, mental health among military personnel.

According to the data from the National Center for PTSD, about 10 out of every 100 men (or 10%) and 19 out of every 100 women (or 19%) Veterans suffer from symptoms of PTSD. This condition can manifest in various ways, from flashbacks and nightmares to severe anxiety and depression.

And probably the worst part is that PTSD is a condition with an incredibly wide impact from feeling depressed or angry all the time to anxiety, mood swings and sleeplessness. It can entail severe conditions, such as sleep apnea, cardiovascular issues, gastrointestinal problems, and lead to substance abuse, and suicide ideation. Moreover, it can ripple through your entire life, affecting friends and family members, and losing interest in work, hobbies or school.

As June 27 is National PTSD Awareness Day, we decided to compose this essential PTSD resource guide for Veterans and their families. 

Below are the essential resources for Veterans who suffer from PTSD. From community centers that offer readjustment counseling to job assistance programs – This list is not exhaustive as there are a myriad of new initiatives and programs, but it is a good place to start if you are seeking credible information and qualified assistance.

 

US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Resources

First and foremost, Veterans should know that the VA provides extensive services for Veterans with PTSD, including:

    • National Center for PTSD
      Part of the VA, the National Center for PTSD is a leading authority on PTSD research and treatment. They provide essential credible information and resources for Veterans and their families, including:

    • Vet Centers
      These community-based centers offer readjustment counseling and support for Veterans and their families. Services include individual and group counseling, family counseling, and referrals to other VA services.

      – Check your eligibility
      – Locate and contact the Vet Center near you online
      – Call  1-877-927-8387

    • Women Veterans Call Center
      The Women Veterans Call Center can be your first call to find out how VA can help you, no question is too small or big. This service is free and confidential and you call as many times as you like.  Representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8 AM ET to 10 PM ET and Saturday 8 AM – 6:30 PT ET, excluding federal holidays.

 – Call or text 1-855-VA-WOMEN (1-855-829-6636
 – Access the online chat line 

As a rule, you need to be enrolled in the VA Healthcare to access VA services for Veterans with PTSD. However, in some cases, any Veteran can be eligible for the VA PTSD support programs. Those can be emergency cases or specific queries from the Veterans Crisis Line.

 

Veterans Crisis Line

This is a confidential, toll-free hotline for Veterans in crisis and their families available 24/7, 365 days a year. It provides immediate support and connects callers to VA resources. The crisis line is available for anyone. You don’t need to be enrolled in VA Healthcare or receive VA disability benefits to access it.

    • Phone: Dial 988 (Press 1)
    • Text: 838255
    • Online Chat: Veterans Crisis Line Chat
    • If calling from overseas:
      – In Europe call 1-844-702-5495 off base and DSN 988 on base
      – In Southwest Asia call 1-855-422-7719 off base and DSN 988 on base
      – In the Pacific call 1-844-702-5493 off base and 988 on base

 

Military OneSource

Military OneSource offers free, confidential support to service members, Veterans, and their families. They provide 24/7 non-medical counseling support for stress management, relationship issues and more. 

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Wounded Warrior Project

The Wounded Warrior Project is a non-profit organization that works for Veterans and service members who served in the military on or after September 11, 2001, and incurred a physical or mental injury, illness, or wound during or after service. 

They offer several programs for Veterans with PTSD, including:

    • Warrior Care Network
      It is an intensive outpatient program for Veterans and service members living with PTSD, traumatic brain injury (TBI), military sexual trauma (MST), and other related conditions 

    • Peer Support
      These are small, Veyerans-led support groups that connect Veterans in their communities. The groups are small and tailored according to attending Veterans’ needs

    • Project Odyssey
      It is a no-cost 12-week mental health program for Veterans with PTSD, depression, and anxiety. The program uses adventure-based training, and outdoor activities to help Veterans and their loved ones determine and overcome the core of their mental health challenges, re-establish and build trust and healthy relationships

 

PTSD Foundation of America

The PTSD Foundation of America provides support and resources for Veterans with PTSD and their families.

    • Support Groups
      These are peer-led support groups for Veterans and their families

    • Camp Hope
      This residential program is located in Houston, TX. It was developed with the needs and challenges of Veterans in mind and offers an intensive PTSD recovery system.

 

USA Care

USA Cares is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing support to military families in financial crisis and offering resources to help Veterans overcome all sorts of challenges associated with transitioning to civilian life.

Some of the organisation’s projects are designed precisely for Veterans who suffer from PTSD and other service-connected mental health conditions.

    • Career Transition Program
      The Career Transition Program helps Veterans find employment, prepare for an interview, and even cover essential expenses if they need special training for the job.

    • Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP)
      HVRP is a grant that helps homeless Veterans with PTSD get the necessary job training and connects them with local employers in 65 counties. The goal of this program is to address the complex challenges of homeless Veterans with PTSD and help them find and sustain stable employment and housing. 

    • Military Assistance Response Program
      This program helps Veterans with service-connected mental and physical disabilities and their families who are facing urgent temporary financial hardships. Each case is reviewed individually and funds are distributed based on the provided evidence.

 

Psychological Health Resource Center (PHRC)

PHRC is a resource managed by the Defense Health Agency (DHA). The Center helps Veterans and their families by providing information and support for PTSD and other mental health issues. All the services, support groups, and programs are strictly confidential.

You can contact PHRC 24/7 through:

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K9s for Warriors

The nation’s largest provider of Service Dogs for Veterans who have PTSD as well as traumatic brain injury (TBI) and military sexual trauma (MST). With nearly 20 Veteran suicides a day, K9s for Warriors is a non-profit organization that aims to save Veteran lives. They match Veterans that are eligible with a Service Dog and hosts the pair at one of their campuses for a 21-day program at no cost to the Warrior. 

For more information and to apply:

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Resources for Families

Except for resources designed and aimed at Veterans who suffer from PTSD and other service-connected mental health conditions, some projects focus on family members and especially children of Veterans diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders.

 

National Military Family Association (NMFA)

The NMFA offers several programs aimed at supporting military families, including children.

    • Operation Purple Camp
      This free summer camp program is designed for military children to help them connect with others who have similar experiences. It offers a supportive environment where children can learn coping skills, and receive credible information about their parents’ challenges in an appropriate and digestible manner. 

    • Purple Programs
      These retreats provide a break for families dealing with deployment-related stress or PTSD. They offer activities and counseling to help families reconnect and strengthen their bonds.

 

Military Kids Connect

Military Kids Connect (MKC) is an online community created by the Defense Health Agency to support military children ages 6-17. The resource is built like a social media platform for children from military families. It offers:

    • Interactive Tools and Games
      They help children learn about PTSD and other military-related issues by engaging activities

    • Videos and Stories
      Content from other military children sharing their experiences and advice

    • Educational Materials
      Resources for parents and educators to help children cope with a parent’s PTSD

 

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN)

NCTSN offers resources aimed specifically at children and families dealing with trauma, including PTSD.

    • Parenting Support
      Guides and tips for parents to help their children understand and cope with PTSD in the family

 

Conclusion

Various resources are available today for Veterans who suffer from PTSD and their family members. From special treatment programs to housing grants and job assistance initiatives, those resources all serve the same purpose: Raising awareness about PTSD and other mental health conditions among military personnel. 

Keep in mind that a Veteran who was diagnosed with PTSD can be entitled to VA Disability Benefits. If you need assistance navigating the process or understanding your rights, we are here to help. Book your free 30-minute call with a VCU Veterans Specialist today, and we will make sure you receive what is rightfully yours.

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