WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is reminding veterans that they are not alone and resources are available to help with reactions they may be feeling about the Taliban's swift takeover of Afghanistan.
In a bulletin posted Monday, the VA described how recent developments overseas may be impacting veterans and causing them to question the meaning of their service or whether it was worth the sacrifices they had to make.
"It's normal to feel this way," the VA stated and encouraged veterans to "Talk with your friends and families, reach out to battle buddies, connect with a peer-to-peer network, or sign up for mental health services."
The VA also encouraged veterans to instead focus on the ways their service made a difference and the impact it had on others and themselves.
VA list of veteran resources available now
- Veterans Crisis Line - If you are having thoughts of suicide, call 1-800-273-8255, then PRESS 1 or visit http://www.veteranscrisisline.net/
- For emergency mental health care, you can also go directly to your local VA medical center 24/7 regardless of your discharge status or enrollment in other VA health care.
- Vet Centers - Discuss how you feel with other Veterans in these community-based counseling centers. 70% of Vet Center staff are Veterans. Call 1-877-927-8387 or find one near you.
- VA Mental Health Services Guide - This guide will help you sign up and access mental health services.
- MakeTheConnection.net - information, resources, and Veteran to Veteran videos for challenging life events and experiences with mental health issues.
- RallyPoint - Talk to other Veterans online. Discuss: What are your feelings as the Taliban reclaim Afghanistan after 20 years of US involvement?
- Download VA's self-help apps - Tools to help deal with common reactions like, stress, sadness, and anxiety. You can also track your symptoms over time.
- Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) - Request a Peer Mentor
- VA Women Veterans Call Center - Call or text 1-855-829-6636 (M-F 8AM - 10PM & SAT 8AM - 6:30PM ET)
- VA Caregiver Support Line - Call 1-855-260-3274 (M-F 8AM - 10PM & SAT 8AM - 5PM ET)
- Together We Served -Find your battle buddies through unit pages
- George W. Bush Institute - Need help or want to talk? Check In or call:1-630-522-4904 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Elizabeth Dole Foundation Hidden Heroes - Join the Community
- American Red Cross Military Veteran Caregiver Network - Peer Support and Mentoring
- Team Red, White & Blue - Hundreds of events weekly. Find a chapter in your area.
- Student Veterans of America - Find a campus chapter to connect with.
- Team Rubicon - Find a local support squad.