Vet Centers provide readjustment counseling, outreach, and referral services to veterans and their families in a relaxed, community-based setting. Vet Centers also provide counseling for military sexual trauma and bereavement counseling to parents, siblings, and spouse of service members who die in service. Many Vet Center staff members are combat veterans themselves. Almost all combat veterans are eligible for Vet Center services.
There are Vet Centers located in Boston, Brockton, Hyannis, Lowell, New Bedford, Springfield and Worcester. There are also Vet Centers located throughout New England that Massachusetts veterans can access. Visit a Vet Center near your community or go to the Vet Center Facilities Locator and Directory.
Suicide Prevention Lifeline
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides service for veterans in crisis. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and press 1 to be connected immediately to VA suicide prevention and mental health service professionals.
Massachusetts SAVE Program
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Veterans' Services in collaboration with the Department of Public Health, has a Statewide Advocacy for Veterans' Empowerment (SAVE) program that assists veterans in need of referral services and seeks to prevent suicide and advocate on behalf of Massachusetts' veterans. SAVE will act as a liaison 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. SAVE Outreach Coordinators will be in the field responding to the needs of veterans and their families. To contact, call 1-888-844-2838 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Samaritans: Massachusetts 24 hour Crisis Hotlines
Samaritans, Inc. is a non-denominational, not-for-profit volunteer organization dedicated to reducing the incidence of suicide by befriending individuals in crisis and educating the community about effective prevention strategies. The Samaritans provides a free and confidential 24-hour phone befriending line, in Boston at (617) 247-0220, and in Framingham at (508) 875-4500. Other hotlines:
- Teen Line: 1-800-252-8336 (Statewide)
- Merrimack Valley: 866-912-4673 (HOPE), 978-688-6607, Teen Line: 603-357-5505
- Fall River/New Bedford: 508-673-3777, 866-508-HELP
- Cape Cod and the Islands: 508-548-8900, 1-800-893-9900
National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
The National Center for PTSD is a part of the VA that works to advance the clinical care and social welfare of America's veterans through research, education, and training in the science, diagnosis, and treatment of PTSD and stress-related disorders. Its website is provided as an educational resource concerning PTSD and other enduring consequences of traumatic stress.
Other Sources of Assistance
- AMVETS provides many forms of assistance to veterans across the Nation in addition to supporting community service initiatives.
- National Veterans Foundation offers a toll-free crisis management hotline for veterans and their families at 1-888-777-4443. The hotline is open seven days a week, from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Pacific Time).
- Mental Health America: Operation Healthy Reunions distributes educational materials on such topics as reuniting with a spouse and children, adjusting after war, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) provides resources for suicidal veterans and their families. For more information call (202) 588-TAPS (8277) or toll-free at 1-800-959-TAPS (8277).
- Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America provides a variety of resources and materials for OEF/OIF veterans.
- The Coming Home Project is a nonprofit organization devoted to providing compassionate care, support, and stress management tools for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families.
- Veterans and Families is a national nonprofit community service and support organization, founded and directed by veterans, parents, grandparents, family members, employers, mental health professionals, academics and community leaders.
- Trauma Informed Care for Women Veterans Experiencing Homelessness was created to address the psychological and mental health needs of women veterans. The guide is also a compilation of best practices aimed at improving effectiveness in engaging female veterans.
Each military branch also offers prevention programs for active duty service-members: