Military Families

Military service members and their families face an array of unique and often difficult challenges. Since 2001, 2.77 million U.S. military service members have served on 5.4 million deployments.1 Between September 2001 and 2015, 1.33 million individuals serving with the Army deployed abroad, along with 563,000 from the Navy, 518,000 from the Air Force, and 367,000 Marines.1 Quite a few service men have multiple deployments under their belts.1 In 2016, the number of active-duty U.S. military troops (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and National Guard) stationed overseas dipped below 200,000 for the first time in at least 60 years.2 The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have been particularly taxing on military families.3 Almost 60% of US service members have family responsibilities and in the past ten years, up to 2 million US children have been exposed to a wartime deployment of a loved one.3

Resource Organizations » Military Families » Lincoln-Sudbury

In Massachusetts

Bedford VA Medical Center - Mental Health Services

781-687-2347

Mental Health Services at Bedford VA and its satellite clinics at Haverhill, Fitchburg, Gloucester, and Lynn are available to treat veterans in the community with many different Mental Health needs. All new patients have their needs assessed in an evaluation, and treatment is planned under a psychiatrist's direction. Individual and group psychotherapy, as well as medication and other specialty treatments, are available depending on the assessment.

Bedford Guide to Services for Veterans and Families: https://www.bedford.va.gov/Guide/Guide_To_Services_Bedford_VAMC.pdf

Massachusetts Department of Veterans' Services

617-210-5480

The Massachusetts Department of Veterans' Services provides information on state and federal benefits, including details about where and how to apply. In addition to resources for veterans and their dependents, the website contains information for members of the Guard and Reserve who have been called-up to active duty.
State benefits include public assistance for indigent veterans and tuition waivers at state colleges and universities. Every city and town in the Commonwealth has a Veterans' Service Officer (VSO), who is there to find veterans, advise them of their rights and benefits, and then to assist veterans as they apply for and receive state and federal benefits. The Women Veterans' Network, a program of DVS, acts as a central resource for women veterans in Massachusetts. Through confidential peer support the SAVE Team advocates for veterans who experience barriers in obtaining benefits by acting as a liaison between veterans and their families and the various agencies within the federal and state government. SOFAR: Strategic Outreach to Families of All Reservists free psychological support and prevention services to extended family of reserve and national guard deployed during the Global War on Terrorism.

Military Rape Crisis Center

Email: info@stopmilitaryrape.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/militaryrapecrisiscenter/about/?ref=page_int...

The Military Rape Crisis Center provides immediate crisis care, support, mental health referrals, legal assistance, and hope to all survivors of Military Sexual Trauma and their loved ones. The Military Rape Crisis Center is privately funded and all services are free of charge for Military Sexual Trauma survivors. They have offices in Washington DC and Cambridge MA and have representatives in 35 states as well as Japan, Germany and England. The Cambridge and Washington DC offices are open by appointment only. Contact them through their website to set up an appointment for either office.

National Center for PTSD

802-296-6300 (Information Voicemail Line)

Email: ncptsd@va.gov

The mission of the National Center for PTSD is to advance the clinical care and social welfare of America's Veterans and others who have experienced trauma, or who suffer from PTSD, through research, education, and training in the science, diagnosis, and treatment of PTSD and stress-related disorders. The National Center for PTSD is dedicated to excellence in research and education on the prevention, understanding, and treatment of PTSD. Its purpose is to improve the well-being and understanding of veterans and others suffering from PTSD. The website includes the definition of PTSD, fact sheets on topics related to PTSD, and information of finding professional help.

New England Center for Homeless Veterans

617-371-1800

Email: info@nechv.org

Now in its third decade of service, The New England Center for Homeless Veterans (NECHV) is a multi-dimension service and care provider dedicated to assisting Veterans who are facing or at-risk of homelessness. Located in Downtown Boston and offering services throughout the region, NECHV supports Veterans with a broad array of programs and innovative services that enable success, reintegration, meaningful employment and independent living.

Statewide Advocacy for Veterans' Empowerment (SAVE)

617-210-5743

Email: save@massmail.state.ma.us

SAVE provides advocacy for veterans who are seeking and have been unable to redeem benefits because of a range of institutional or personal barriers. It sets out to assist with getting these benefits and preventing suicide and significant mental health issues in veterans. SAVE has been a voice for veterans having difficulty reaching state and federal organizations and advocates for them and their families in accomplishing this. 

The Home Base Program

617-724-5202

The Home Base Program is a partnership between the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital. We are dedicated to improving the lives of veterans who deployed in support of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and live with deployment- or combat-related stress and/or traumatic brain injury. We provide clinical care to veterans as well as support for their families. The Home Base Program also offers educational courses and materials for health care providers and the public. We're also bringing together world-class researchers seeking medical breakthroughs in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injury and stress-related disorders.

The Sierra Club Military Outdoors

415-977-5554 (Military Outdoors)

617-423-5775 (Sierra Club, Massachusetts Chapter Office)

Email: military.outdoors@sierraclub.org

The Sierra Club Military Outdoors organizes outdoor trips for veterans, other service members and their families. The goal of Sierra Club Military Outdoors is to ensure that service members, veterans, and their families have the skills exposure, knowledge, and confidence to access the great outdoors. Spending time in nature promotes mental health, emotional resiliency, leadership development, and can help ease the transition to civilian life for veterans. Military Family and Veterans Initiative (MFVI), a part of Military Outdoors, helps the military and veteran community enjoy the freedoms of the land they defended. Military Outdoors provides a variety of opportunities for military services members and their families to find adventure, camaraderie, a sense of mission, and relaxation through outdoor experiences. An entire family can reconnect at a retreat; a returning veteran can participate in paddling, climbing, mountaineering, fly-fishing, or other outdoor adventure. Military children of deployed parents can find empowerment by going to camp.

Outside Massachusetts

Organizations with hotlines

Department of Defense Safe Helpline

Hotline: 877-995-5247, Non toll-free Hotline: 202-540-5962, Online Helpline: https://safehelpline.org/live-chat
Email: info@safehelpline.org

Department of Defense (DoD) Safe Helpline is a groundbreaking crisis support service for members of the DoD community affected by sexual assault. Safe Helpline provides live, one-on-one support and information to the worldwide DoD community. The service is confidential, anonymous, secure, and available worldwide, 24/7 by click, call or text - providing victims with the help they need anytime, anywhere.

The Real Warriors Campaign

800-273-8255 press 1 (For crisis intervention)

866-966-1020 (For information and resources)

The Real Warriors Campaign is an initiative launched by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) to promote the processes of building resilience, facilitating recovery and supporting reintegration of returning service members, veterans and their families. There are tons of resources that cater specifically to active duty service members, National Guard & Reserve members, veterans, families and health professionals.

Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS)

1-800-959-8277

Office: 202-588-8277

TAPS is the 24/7 tragedy assistance resource for ANYONE who has suffered the loss of a military loved one, regardless of the relationship to the deceased or the circumstance of the death. Founded out of tragedy in 1994, TAPS has established itself as the front line resource to the families and loved ones of our military men and women. TAPS provides comfort and care through comprehensive services and programs including peer based emotional support, case work assistance, connections to community-based care, and grief and trauma resources. TAPS also conducts regional Survivor Seminars for adults and Good Grief Camps for youth at locations across the country.

Veterans Crisis Line

Hotline: 1-800-273-8255 ext 1, For deaf & hard of hearing: 1-800-799-4889

Text: 838255

The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans or Active Duty service members in crisis, and their families and friends, with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text. Many of the responders are Veterans themselves and understand what Veterans and their families and friends have been through and the challenges Veterans of all ages and service eras face. Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Support for deaf and hard of hearing individuals is available.

Vets 4 Warriors

855-838-8255, Text: 732-333-3634
Email: Info@Vets4Warriors.com

Our mission is to provide 24/7 confidential, stigma free peer support by veterans to Active Duty, National Guard and Reserve service members, Veterans, Retirees, and their families/caregivers. Share lived experiences to create an environment of trust that demonstrates you are never alone, there is a caring, empathic voice ready to connect and follow up.

Organizations without hotlines

Afterdeployment.org

Outreach Center: 866-966-1020

Afterdeployment.org is a wellness resource for the military community. Our mission is to help service members, their families, and veterans overcome common adjustment problems following a deployment. The resources and exercises on afterdeployment.org address post-deployment challenges, including: post-traumatic stress and triggers; conflict at work; re-connecting with family and friends; depression; anger; sleep problems; substance abuse; stress management; kids and deployment; spiritual guidance; living with physical injuries; health and wellness; and much more. The developers have strived to build a media-rich, fully interactive Web site. There are assessments, testimonials, forums, blogs, and workshops.

Cohen Veterans Network

844-336-4226

Email: info@cohenveteransnetwork.org

Cohens Veterans Network is a resource aimed at providing quality mental heathcare access to veterans and their families. This organization provides veterans and their families low to no cost, personalized, and evidence-based mental health care along with access to comprehensive case management support and referrals to deal with other stresses like unemployment, finances, housing, and legal issues.

Give an Hour

Email: info@giveanhour.org

Give an Hour understands that individuals who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and their families, may need help dealing with the effects of wartime service. This organization wants to help and offers a variety of mental health services to address individual needs.  Give an Hour is a nonprofit organization providing free mental health services to U.S. military personnel and loved ones affected by the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. This organization offers services to anyone who is or has been affected directly or indirectly (through a relationship with someone in the military) by the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Give an Hour is also providing links to a variety of resources for military families, including articles that discuss the kinds of difficulties military families encounter and services available from national, state, and local organizations. Give an Hour’s mission is to develop national networks of volunteer professionals capable of responding to both acute and chronic conditions that arise within our society.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)

212-982-9699

Email: info@iava.org

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) is the first and largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization for new veterans, with over 200,000 Member Veterans and supporters nationwide. IAVA is a 21st Century veterans’ organization dedicated to standing with the 2.4 million veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan from their first day home through the rest of their lives. Founded in 2004 by an Iraq veteran, our mission is to improve the lives of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families. IAVA strives to build an empowered generation of veterans who provide sustainable leadership for our country and their local communities. IAVA works toward this vision through programs in four key impact areas: supporting new veterans in Health, Education, Employment and building a lasting Community for vets and their families (HEEC).
 

Make The Connection

An online resource sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs that connects Veterans, their family members and friends, clinicians, and other supporters with information, resources, and solutions to issues affecting their lives. Watch and connect with over 400 hundred Veterans and family members from across the country who have shared their stories of strength and recovery. Make the Connection provides information about life experiences you can relate to. You can also explore information about signs, symptoms, and conditions related to mental health and well-being.

Military Families Near and Far

Email: MilitaryFamilies@sesame.org

Military Families Near and Far is a free, bilingual (English and Spanish) website where families can create, communicate, and stay connected. Developed for military families, the site provides new ways for preschool and school-aged children to express themselves and communicate within their own family networks on the topics of military deployments, homecomings, relocations, injuries, and grief . New interactive tools for creating art, music, videos, letters, cards, and notebooks help kids explore their emotions and encourage communication. Materials from Sesame Street's ongoing Talk, Listen, Connect initiative and new materials from The Electric Company provide resources for parents and caregivers to help children cope with challenging transitions. Parents and caregivers can find information and multimedia resources on the topics of military deployments, multiple deployments, homecomings, changes, grief, and self-expression in Resources for Grown-Ups.

Military Kids Connect

Military Kids Connect is an online discussion board and resource for children in military families. It offers a chance for children to connect with other children living within military families or who have a parent deployed. The website has information on coping stategies to use when a parent is deployed as well as interactive games. 

Military OneSource

800-342-9647

Your search stops here – click around for answers to the military life questions you didn't even know to ask. Military OneSource is your central hub and go-to-place for the military community. Find information about casualty assistance and surviving loss of a service member.

National Military Family Association (NMFA)

703-931-6632

Email: info@MilitaryFamily.org

The National Military Family Association (NMFA) is an organization dedicated to serving military families. The NMFA educates military families concerning their rights, benefits and services available to them such as Operation Purple, a program that was created to support children of deployed service members.  The Joint Family Support Assistance Program (JFSAP), also located on this site, http://www.militaryhomefront.dod.mil/sp/jfsap provides support to military families who are geographically dispersed and are unable to access services on military installations. Services are delivered in local communities through collaborative partnerships with Federal, State, and local resources.

Operation Homefront

(210) 659-7756

Email:

Operation Homefront is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families so they can thrive — not simply struggle to get by — in the communities they have worked so hard to protect. Operation Homefront provides assistance with a multitude of things military troops and their family face. Resources offered include food assistance, auto and home repair, vision care services, transportation services, and financial assistance, among other things. There are also living assistance programs that provide rent-free homes for returning troops in order to ease the transition. 

PsychArmor Institute

844-779-2427 (Support Line)

858-755-3006 (Office Line)

Email: info@psycharmor.org

PsychArmor Institute offers free trainings and courses on how to work with and care for veterans. The trainings range in audience from families to caregivers and include a support line for those looking for assistance in utilizing the resource. 

The Sanctuary for Veterans & Families

720-561-9193

Email: info@projectsanctuary.us

The Sanctuary for Veterans & Families was founded in 2007 by current Executive Director Stacy Bannerman and military family members of troops who had served or were serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and veterans. The mission is to provide advocacy, support, and innovative, experiential recreational and wellness programs and reintegration retreats, projects and services for veterans and military families. Services include Sanctuary Weekends for veterans and military family members dealing with the strain of deployment(s), and the trauma of war.  The Sanctuary also conducts research on the psychological impact of combat in women veterans and military families and provides education, training, and multimedia materials for affected individuals, communities, caregivers, stakeholders and the general public.

Vets Prevail

Email: info@vetsprevail.org

Vets Prevail is an innovative new online mental health tool that is tailored specifically to recent Veterans, helping ease transition to life after military service and tackle post deployment re-adjustment challenges. Employing cutting edge technology, the program creates engagement through dynamically tailored interactions. The core content is rooted in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, the standard of care for treatment of symptoms related to PTSD and depression. The program incorporates interactive multimedia e-learning lessons, peer support, diagnostic self-assessments, and proprietary software for scheduling and tracking user activities, thoughts, and feelings. Vets Prevail was developed through the collaboration of mental health researchers and clinicians at top universities and hospitals with the backing of the National Science Foundation and The McCormick Foundation.

Wounded Warrior Project

(877) 832-6997

Email: keepintouch@woundedwarriorproject.org

Wounded Warrior Project is one of the largest veterans service organizations in the United States with office locations and partners across the country. As a veterans' charity, we serve veterans, caregivers and families of veterans who incurred a physical or mental injury or illness on or after September 11, 2001. Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) takes a holistic approach when serving warriors and their families to nurture the mind and body, and encourage economic empowerment and engagement. Through a high-touch and interactive approach, WWP hopes to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation's history.