I feel like I'm hitting roadblocks in applying for and receiving services and benefits. Who can help?
Through confidential peer support the Statewide Advocacy for Veterans' Empowerment (SAVE) advocates for veterans who experience barriers in obtaining benefits. SAVE acts as a liaison between veterans and their families and the various agencies within the federal and state government.
- For more information, go to www.mass.gov/veterans or to reach a member of the SAVE Team email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (888) 844-2838.
I'm the spouse of a Reservist. Where can I learn more about how to help him/her and our family manage the transition home from deployment?
The Military and Family Support Center is operated by the Massachusetts National Guard to support Guard and Reserve members and their families by coordinating local, state, and federal resources. Many services are available free of charge at the open access center in Wellesley. Counselors and other representatives from federal and state agencies are on-site to assist with financial assistance, housing, and healthcare. Other services include but are not limited to:
- legal assistance
- military identification cards
- family program staff and services
- Transition Assistance Advisor
- representatives from the Department of Veterans' Services and Military One Source
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) support
- For more information, go to www.operationtotalwarrior.us or call (800) 772-1237.
Where can I get help managing the nightmares and flashbacks I have about my time in the service?
You may be suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a mental disorder that can occur following a life-threatening event such as military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, serious accidents, or violent personal assaults including rape. The VA's National Center for PTSD provides free treatment to veterans. In addition, VA Vet Centers offer free treatment for combat trauma as well as military sexual trauma (MST). MST counselors work with both men and women who experienced unwanted sexual advances or harassment in the military. Vet Centers provide complete confidentiality from the VA.
- For intake at the National Center for PTSD, male veterans call (857) 364-4143 and female veterans call (857) 364-4012.
- For a complete listing of Vet Centers in Massachusetts, visit www.va.gov/rcs.
I would like to spend time with other veterans who have served in Afghanistan or Iraq. How can I find them?
There are support groups across the state hosted in the community, Vet Centers, VA Medical Centers (VAMC), by the SAVE Team, and non-profit veteran agencies. Some groups are women-only.
- To find a support group near you, contact the OEF/OIF Coordinator at the VAMC near you. Bedford VAMC (781) 687-2000, VA Boston Healthcare System (617) 232-9500 (covers West Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, and Brockton campuses), Northampton VAMC (413) 584-4040.
- The SAVE Team may also know of a support group near you. To reach the SAVE Team email email@example.com or call (888) 844-2838.
- The DVS website has a list of support groups, see www.mass.gov/veterans and search for support groups.
I'm a veteran in serious crisis. Who can help me right now?
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides confidential service for veterans and family members in crisis 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Call (800) 273-TALK (8255) and press 1 to be connected immediately to VA suicide prevention and mental health service professionals.
(Welcome Home, 3rd edition, April 2010)