Programs for Family Members of Veterans

Purpose

Several programs have been developed for use with family members of Veterans with a variety of chronic conditions including:

The Support And Family Education (SAFE) Program: Mental Health Facts for Families (Department of Veterans Affairs) is an 18-session curriculum to support adults who care for a Veteran living with chronic mental illness or PTSD.

Veterans Operation Enduring Families: Information and Support for Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans and Their Families, an extension of the SAFE program, is a 5-session family education and support program for Veterans who have recently returned from a combat from Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)  and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).

A third program, the TBI Family Caregiver Curriculum, was developed by the Department of Defense to help families of a Veteran returning from combat in OEF or OIF with a traumatic brain injury (TBI). This program, available online, consists of four modules that inform a family caregiver about TBI, its effects, issues that accompany caregiving, and ways to navigate services and benefits for the Veteran.

More detailed information about TBI (including management of concomitants and symptoms) and specific resources for military and veteran families is also available here. The VA also provides a caregiver support line for help toll-free: 1 (855) 260-3274.

Similarly, there are educational programs for professionals who work with family caregivers of service members who have TBI, such as the on-line program, A Family Member's Guide to Coping with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

Strategy

These programs are available to the public and they were prepared to inform and educate caregivers of Veterans, and to provide guidance to them in working with the VA health care system. The internet links provide access to downloadable files for family members to keep.

Target Population

Family members of Veterans

Research Outcomes

At the present time, outcome studies of these curricula have not been identified