Mental Health and Related Resources for Assisting Service Members, Veterans, and Their Families

May 2010

Note: This document was prepared by the APA Public Interest Government Relations Office with assistance from the APA Executive Office and the Education, Science, and Practice Directorates. The list of resources cited in this document is not comprehensive and does not reflect implicit or explicit endorsement by the American Psychological Association.

Department of Defense (DoD)

Air Force Crossroads
Official U.S. Air Force website.

Battlemind
The Battlemind website has briefs, videos, and other materials developed by the Army to help prepare soldiers, military leaders, and families for dealing with war and adjusting back to life after combat. It also has resources for providers who care for soldiers.

Defense Centers of Excellence (DCoE)
DCoE assesses, validates, oversees and facilitates prevention, resilience, identification, treatment, outreach, rehabilitation, and reintegration programs for psychological health (PH) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) to ensure the Department of Defense meets the needs of the nation's military communities, warriors and families. Includes six centers:

  1. Center for Deployment Psychology (CDP) at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
    The CDPis a triservice initiative whose mission is to help better prepare military and civilian mental health professionals for working effectively with service members and their families throughout the deployment cycle.
  2. Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress
    As part of the Department of Psychiatry of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress conducts research, education, consultation, and training on preparing for and responding to the psychological effects and health consequences of traumatic events.
  3. Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center
    The mission of the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) is to serve active duty military, their beneficiaries, and veterans with traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) through state-of-the-art clinical care, innovative clinical research initiatives and educational programs.
  4. Deployment Health Clinical Center
    Official website with extensive up-to-date information on Post-Deployment Health Evaluation and the Post-Deployment Health Reassessment Program and other health-related issues.
  5. The National Center for Telehealth & Technology (T2)
    Lead the development of telehealth and technology solutions for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury to improve the lives of our Nation’s Warriors, Veterans and their Families.
  6. National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE)
    The NICoE will be an advanced facility dedicated to research, diagnosis and treatment of military personnel and veterans suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI) and psychological health issues.

Force Health Protection and Readiness Policy and Programs | Related links and resources
Official website of the Force Health Protection and Readiness Policy and Programs, which is responsible for deployment related health policy, doctrine, theater information systems, system rightsizing, and international agreements.

Marine for Life
Official U.S. Marine Corps website for Marine for Life, which assists the transitioning Marine to go from Active Duty Marine to civilian.

Military Homefront
Military Homefront is the official DoD website for Quality of Life information designed to help troops and their families, leaders and service providers.

Military OneSource
Military OneSource is the official website with a toll-free call center that has information for service members and their families concerning health care, financial resources, family support, and concerns throughout the deployment cycle.

Military Student.org
A Department of Defense official website with many resources that can help military families make informed choices regarding the appropriate educational settings for their children.

Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center
This Navy website is designed to serve as a “Health Promotion Toolbox” useful for military personnel and their families in preventing disease and promoting health.

Office of Wounded Warrior Care and Transition Policy
The mission statement of this office is to ensure wounded, ill, injured & transitioning warriors receive high quality care and seamless transition support through proactive leadership, responsive policy, effective oversight and interagency collaboration.

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Courage to Care Campaign
The Courage to Care Campaignwebsite has various "Courage to Care" handouts for service members, couples, and families related to deployment and returning home.

U.S.Army Hooah 4 health
Official U.S. Army website on health promotion and wellness.

VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guidelines
This Deployment Health Clinical Center website provides background information and a direct link to the VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guidelines.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Homeless Veterans Program
This website provides information on VA’s Homeless Veterans Program, which offers a wide array of special programs and initiatives specifically designed to help homeless veterans live as self-sufficiently and independently as possible. 

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Quick Guide

National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (NC-PTSD)
The National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder aims to advance the clinical care and social welfare of veterans through research, education, and training on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other stress-related disorders.

VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guidelines
This website provides VA/DoD guidelines for practitioners on health conditions, including post-traumatic stress, major depressive disorder, and substance use disorders.

VA Office of Patient Care Services
Provides benefits and health care information for veterans.

Returning Service Members (OEF/OIF)
This website provides benefits information and assistance to eligible veterans.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline includes the Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline (by pressing 1) and responds to toll-free calls from across the country and works closely with local VA mental health providers to help callers.  
1-800-273-TALK (8255)  

Women's Trauma Recovery Program
The Women’s Trauma Recovery Program is an intensive 60-day residential program and has expanded its treatment services to include war-zone related stress, as well as military sexual trauma.

Vet Centers
Vet Centers provide readjustment counseling and outreach services to all veterans who served in any combat zone. Services are also available for their family members for military-related issues.

Veteran Recovery
The Veteran Recovery website is for veterans, VA staff, and others who work with or care about veterans. The goal of the website is to provide detailed information regarding peer support, substance abuse and mental illness, VA programs, research, and other support services. It is also an opportunity to give a voice to veterans.

Related Resources for Military Service Members, Veterans, and their Families

AfterDeployment.org
Provides wellness resources for the military community.

African American Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Association
The African American Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Association (AA PTSD Assn) established as an outgrowth of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Veterans Brain Trust symposium, is a National Veterans Service Organization (serving all veterans) recognized by Congress and the Department of Veterans Affairs. While providing multiple services for veterans and their families is a critical focus, the AA PTSD Assn also provides assistance to the homeless , self-education training programs, claims preparation for individuals with PTSD, TBI and other military related ailments and resources that provide effective health and human services.

American War Mothers
The American War Mothers was founded in 1917 is a perpetual patriotic, 501(c) 4 non-profit, non-political, non-sectarian, non-partisan origination whose members are mothers of children who have served or are serving in the Armed Services during a time of conflict.

AMVETS
AMVETS is dedicated to supporting veterans and active military, providing community services and preserving freedom. AMVETS national service officers, accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), provide free claims assistance to veterans, their dependents and survivors. AMVETS members also donate countless hours to brighten the lives of hospitalized veterans and promote quality-of-life programs such as Special Olympics or scouting.

Blinded Veterans Association
The Blinded Veterans Association was established specifically to help veterans and their families meet and overcome the challenges of blindness.

Center for Military Health Policy Research
The goal of this Center is to help the DoD and VA meet the challenges of providing the best care possible to this diverse population, while containing costs.

Disabled American Veterans (DAV)
DAV is an organization of disabled veterans that is focused on building better lives for disabled veterans and their families by providing free assistance to veterans in obtaining benefits and services earned through their military service.

Easter Seals
Nonprofit, community-based health agency dedicated to helping children and adults with disabilities attain greater independence.

Give An Hour
Give An Hour is developing a national network of volunteer mental health professionals to assist service members and families affected by the current military conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America is the nation's first and largest group dedicated to the troops and veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and their civilian supporters.

Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America (JWV)
The JWV is an American Jewish Veterans organization, whose mission is to maintain true allegiance to the United States of America; to foster and perpetuate true Americanism; to combat whatever tends to impair the efficiency and permanency of our free institutions; to uphold the fair name of the Jew and fight his or her battles wherever unjustly assailed; to encourage the doctrine of universal liberty, equal rights, and full justice to all men and women; to combat the powers of bigotry and darkness wherever originating and whatever their target; to preserve the spirit of comradeship by mutual helpfulness to comrades and their families; to cooperate with and support existing educational institutions and establish educational institutions, and to foster the education of ex-servicemen and ex-servicewomen, and our members in the ideals and principles of Americanism; to instill love of country and flag, and to promote sound minds and bodies in our members and our youth; to preserve the memories and records of patriotic service performed by the men and women of our faith; to honor their memory and shield from neglect the graves of our heroic dead.

Korean War Association
The association was formed to organize, promote and maintain for benevolent and charitable purposes an association of persons who have seen honorable service during the Korean War at any time between June 25, 1950 and 31 January 1955, both dates inclusive, and of certain other persons, the particular qualifications for membership to be set forth in the By-laws of the Korean War Veterans Association; to grant charters to groups of members at large of the Association; to provide a means of contact and communication among the members of the Association; to promote the establishment of, and to establish war and other memorials commemorative of any person or persons who served in the Korean War; to aid needy Association members and their wives and children, and the widows and children of persons who were members at the time of their death; to establish and maintain a national headquarters; to do any and all things necessary or proper for the accomplishment of the foregoing business and objects of the Association, including, for such purposes, to contract and pay for personal and other services, to contract for, buy, take by deed, gift or devise, hold, possess, manage, borrow, rent, lease, loan, assign, convey, sell, and dispose of in any manner real and personal property, and to act as trustee, or be a beneficiary of a trust.

Military Child Education Coalition
The Military Child Education Coalition is anon-profit organization that promotes partnerships and provides for networking of military installations and their supporting school districts. 

Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University
The Military Family Research Institute website offers deployment support resources for soldiers and their extended families.

Military Officers Association of America
Military Officers Association of America ( MOAA) is the nation's largest association of military officers.

Military Order of the Purple Heart
Chartered by Congress in 1958, The Military Order of the Purple Heart is composed of military men and women who received the Purple Heart Medal for wounds suffered in combat.

Swords to Plowshares
Swords to Plowshares' mission is to heal the wounds, to restore dignity, hope, and self-sufficiency to all veterans in need, and to significantly reduce homelessness and poverty among veterans.

Military Women.org
Military Women.org is a meeting place for military women to exchange information unique to their military experience and to offer firsthand information to women thinking about a military career.

National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV)
The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans is the resource and technical assistance center for a national network of community-based service providers and local, state and federal agencies that provide emergency and supportive housing, food, health services, job training and placement assistance, legal aid, and case management support for hundreds of thousands of homeless veterans each year.

National Military Family Association
The National Military Family Association is an organization committed to advocacy for improvements in the quality of military family life.

Paralyzed Veterans of America
This organization addresses a wide array of issues experienced by veterans with spinal cord injury or dysfunction.

Sesame Workshop
Contains information and programs for children, including bilingual kits to help military families and their young children cope with feelings, challenges, and concerns experienced during various phases of deployment: pre-deployment, deployment, and homecoming.

Strategic Outreach to Families and All Reservists (SOFAR)
Strategic Outreach to Families and All Reservists coordinates pro bono psychotherapy and psycho-educational services to Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom National Guard, Reservists and their families.

Surviving Deployment.com
Surviving Deployment.com provides information and resources for military families.

Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, Inc. (TAPS)
Tragedy Assistance Programs for Survivors, Inc., has caseworkers who act as liaisons, assisting the family members in finding solutions to problems.

Veterans Health Council (VHC)
The mission of the Veterans Health Council is to improve health care for veterans by creating an ongoing forum for members of the medical and clinical professions, employee representatives, advocacy organizations, and healthcare firms to discuss, develop, and promote effective efforts to: (1) inform veterans and their families about health issues and benefits available to them; (2) educate health care communities about the multiple health issues associated with military service; (3) develop materials on veterans’ health issues for medical schools, nursing schools, teaching hospitals, and related educational outlets; and (4) advocate on behalf of veterans’ healthcare initiatives.

Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)
The Veterans of Foreign Wars’ mission is to "honor the dead by helping the living" through veterans' service, community service, national security, and a strong national defense.

Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA)
Vietnam Veterans of America is the only national Vietnam veterans’ organization congressionally chartered and exclusively dedicated to Vietnam-era veterans and their families.

Woodruff Foundation/ReMIND
The mission of the Bob Woodruff Foundation is to provide resources and support to injured service members, veterans and their families -- building a movement to empower communities nationwide to take action to successfully reintegrate our nation’s injured heroes—especially those who have sustained the Hidden Injuries of War—back into their communities so they may thrive physically, psychologically, socially and economically.

Wounded Warrior Project
The mission of Wounded Warrior Project is to honor and empower wounded warriors. The purpose includes raising awareness and enlisting the public’s aid for the needs of severely injured service men and women, helping severely injured service members aid and assist each other, and providing unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of severely injured service members.

Trauma Resources

David Baldwin’s Trauma Information Pages
David Baldwin’s Trauma Information Pages focus primarily on emotional trauma and traumatic stress, including PTSD and dissociation, whether following individual traumatic experience(s) or a large-scale disaster.

International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS)
The International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies is an international multidisciplinary, professional membership organization that promotes advancement and exchange of knowledge about severe stress and trauma. This knowledge includes understanding the scope and consequences of traumatic exposure, preventing traumatic events and ameliorating their consequences, and advocating for the field of traumatic stress.

National Center for Victims of Crime
The National Center for Victims of Crime is the nation's leading resource and advocacy organization for crime victims.

National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN)
The NCTSN was established to raise the standard of care and increase access to care, treatment, and services for traumatized children and families exposed to traumatic events.  The NCTSN serves as a national resource for developing and disseminating evidence-based intervention, trauma-informed services, and public and professional education.

The National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center (NCVC)
The Medical University of South Carolina's National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center (NCVC) is dedicated to improving the quality of mental health services provided both localy
and nationally to victims of crime, abuse, and trau ma. NCVC offers a free online training course in Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT).

National Organization Against Male Sexual Victimization
The National Organization Against Male Sexual Victimization is committed to preventing, healing, and eliminating all forms of sexual victimization of boys and men through support, treatment, research, education, advocacy, and activism.

National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC)
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center is a national information and resource hub relating to all aspects of sexual violence.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Resources

Brain Injury Association of America
The Brain Injury Association of America is a national organization serving and representing individuals, families, and professionals who are touched by brain injury.

Brain Trauma Foundation
This Brain Trauma Foundation was established to improve the outcome of patients with traumatic brain injuries by developing best practice guidelines, conducting clinical research, and educating medical personnel.

Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC)
The mission of the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center is to serve active duty military personnel and their dependents and veterans with TBI through state-of-the-art medical care, innovative clinical research initiatives, and educational programs.

International Brain Injury Association (IBIA)
The International Brain Injury Association is dedicated to the development and support of multidisciplinary medical and clinical professionals, advocates, policy makers, consumers, and others who work to improve outcomes and opportunities for persons with brain injury.

National Association of State Head Injury Administrators (NASHIA)
The National Association of State Head Injury Administrators serves as a source of information and education for state agency employees who are responsible for public brain injury policies, programs, and services.

National Center for Injury Prevention and Control – Facts about Concussion and Brain Injury

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke – Information about TBI

Traumatic Brain Injury National Resource Center

Traumatic Brain Injury Technical Assistance Center
The Traumatic Brain Injury Technical Assistance Center is a learning, collaboration, and benchmarking resource for grantees and others affiliated with the Federal Traumatic Brain Injury Program.

Depression and Suicide Resources

Air Force Suicide Prevention Program
The Air Force Suicide Prevention Program website provides extensive information on the Air Force’s suicide prevention program, as well as additional resources such as the Leader's Guide for Managing Personnel in Distress, the Frontline Supervisor's Training manual, and the newly released "Landing Gear" program for deployers.

American Association of Suicidology (AAS)
The American Association of Suicidology is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the understanding and prevention of suicide.

Department of Defense: “What You and Your Family Should Know about Depression”

National Institute of Mental Health - Information on Depression

Suicide Prevention Action Network USA (SPAN USA)
The Suicide Prevention Action Network USA is an organization dedicated to preventing suicide through public education and awareness, community action, and federal, state, and local grassroots advocacy.

Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)
The Suicide Prevention Resource Center provides prevention support, training, and resources to assist organizations and individuals to develop suicide prevention programs, interventions and policies, and to advance the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences - Depression Fact Sheet

Chronic Pain Resources

Alliance of State Pain Initiatives (ASPI)
The Alliance of State Pain Initiatives is a network of state-based pain initiative organizations that works to remove the barriers that impede pain relief through education, advocacy, and institutional improvement. 

American Academy of Pain Management
The American Academy of Pain Manage mentis an interdisciplinary organization serving clinicians who treat people with pain through education, setting standards of care, and advocacy.

American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA)
The American Chronic Pain Association’s mission is to facilitate peer support and education for individuals with chronic pain and their families and to raise awareness among the health care community, policymakers, and the public at large about the issues involved in living with chronic pain.

American Pain Foundation
The American Pain Foundation is a non-profit organization serving people with pain through information, advocacy, and support.

American Pain Society
The American Pain Society is a multidisciplinary community that brings together a diverse group of scientists, clinicians, and other professionals to increase knowledge about pain and transform public policy and clinical practice to reduce pain-related suffering.

Conill Institute for Chronic Illness
The Conill Institute for Chronic Illness provides education for healthcare professionals to increase empathy toward people living with chronic illness and physical disability.

National Pain Foundation
The National Pain Foundation is an on-line educational and support community for persons in pain, their families, and physicians. It is also a peer-reviewed source for treatment options and pain information.

Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Pain Management
The purpose of the Veterans Health Administration Pain Management website is to facilitate effective pain management by providing convenient, centralized access to resources for the provision of pain services within the VA health care system.

Key Divisions of the American Psychological Association (APA)

  • Society of Clinical Psychology (Div. 12)
  • Society of Counseling Psychology (Div. 17)
  • Psychologists in Public Service (Div. 18)
  • Military Psychology (Div. 19)
  • Rehabilitation Psychology (Div. 22)
  • Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice (Div. 37)
  • Health Psychology (Div. 38)
  • Clinical Neuropsychology (Div. 40)
  • Family Psychology (Div. 43)
  • Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (Div. 53)
  • Pediatric Psychology (Div. 54)
  • Trauma Psychology (Div. 56)

For more information about these and other APA Divisions, please visit the website.