For mental health resources in addition to those listed below, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Massachusetts website for veterans and servicemembers at www.namimass.org/resources/veterans-and-service-members.
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 servicemembers who die in service. Many Vet Center staff members are combat veterans themselves. Almost all combat veterans are eligible for Vet Center services. For more information about eligibility visit http://www.vetcenter.va.gov/Eligibility.asp.
There are Vet Centers located in Massachusetts in Boston, Brockton, Hyannis, Lowell, New Bedford, Springfield and Worcester. There are also Vet Centers located throughout New England that Massachusetts veterans can access. To find a Vet Center near you, visit: http://www.va.gov/directory/guide/state.asp?State=MA&dnum=ALL&v=1.
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. Visit their website at: www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
Massachusetts SAVE Program
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services in collaboration with the Department of Public Health, has a Statewide Advocacy for Veteransâ€™ 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.
Department of Veterans’ Service
600 Washington St., 7th Floor
Boston, MA 02111
Fax: (617) 210-5755
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, http://www.ptsd.va.gov/, is provided as an educational resource concerning PTSD and other enduring consequences of traumatic stress.
Strength at Home
The VA, through its National Center for PTSD, offers programs for veterans, servicemembers, and their families who are facing issues of conflict, anger, and post-deployment readjustment in their personal relationships. Programs for individuals and for couples are offered and are designed to strengthen relationships. Visit www.strengthathome.com for more information.
Home Base Program
The Home Base Program is a partnership between the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). The program offers OEF/OIF veterans and their families diagnostic assessments, treatment, and referral services. The program is intended to help participants overcome combat-related stress and/or traumatic brain injury. The services are available regardless of whether treatment has previously been sought and regardless of ability to pay. Discharge status does not affect eligibility for services. OEF/OIF veterans and their families may contact the Home Base Program at 617-724-5202 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. To learn more about the program, visit http://homebase.org/.
Other Sources of Assistance
AMVETS provides many forms of assistance to veterans across the Nation in addition to supporting community service initiatives. Visit www.amvets.org.
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). Visit www.nvf.org for more information.
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). Visit www.nmha.org/reunions for more information.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America provides a variety of resources and materials for OEF/OIF veterans. Visit www.iava.org for more information.
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. Visit their website at: www.cominghomeproject.net.
Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) provides resources for suicidal veterans and their families. For more information, contact:
Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, Inc.
1777 F Street NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20006
Office: (202) 588-TAPS (8277)
Toll-free: 1-800-959-TAPS (8277)
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. View their website at: www.veteransandfamilies.org.
Each military branch also offers prevention programs for active duty servicemembers:
- Air Force Suicide Prevention Program: http://www.af.mil/suicideprevention.asp
- Army Suicide Prevention Program: http://www.armyg1.army.mil/hr/suicide/
- Coast Guard Suicide Prevention Program: http://www.uscg.mil/worklife/suicide_prevention.asp
- Marine Corps Suicide Prevention Program: www.usmc-mccs.org/suicideprevent
- Navy Suicide Prevention Program: http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/support/suicide_prevention/Pages/default.aspx
Screening for Mental Health
Screening for Mental Health provides free mental health tools for servicemembers and their families, including online self-assessments and information on where help is available. Screening for Mental Health also offers Family Resiliency Materials to help families learn how to cope with deployments. Visit www.mentalhealthscreening.org/programs/military for more information.