VA’s mental health program not only addresses medical treatment, but also encompasses training, research, support services for Veterans and their families, partnerships with community organizations, expanded eligibility, hiring efforts, technology advances, and innovative communications strategies to reduce negative perceptions of seeking mental health care. Mental health care and suicide prevention are among VA’s highest priorities, and important topics given the season that is upon us. We know that the suicide rate is lower for those Veterans who use VA health care, but losing any one of our Veterans is just unacceptable.
What to do about the Holiday Blues – or what if it’s more?
At this time of year, people may experience what is called the Holiday Blues, which may include stress, fatigue, sadness and loneliness. These feelings may be triggered by many stressors, including financial difficulties, family tension and the inability to spend time with loved ones.
VA has resources to help Veterans get through the Holiday Blues, and VA’s Mental Health professionals are ready to help you cope with what you’re going through.
The online Veterans Self-Check Quiz is a safe, easy, confidential way to learn whether stress and depression might be affecting you. Upon completing this brief questionnaire, a VA Counselor will review it and leave a personal response for you on a secure website, which will offer options for follow-up.
The Veterans/Military Crisis Line connects Veterans, Servicemembers, and their families and friends with qualified, caring VA responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, chat service, and texting service that offers 24/7 assistance. The Veterans/Military Crisis Line can be reached at 1-800-273-8255 (Press 1 for Veterans); the Veterans Chat Service is located at www.veteranscrisisline.net; and the Texting Service can be accessed at 838255.
Finally, VA’s Make the Connection website allows Veterans, family members, and friends to access information and real stories specific to their experiences, and easily find resources for support.