YOU ARE NOT ALONE

The Robert Irvine Foundation is proud to provide mental health and wellness programs for our military and first responder communities. While our site is primarily dedicated to providing our supporters with information on our organization, this page is dedicated to our military service members, veterans, Gold Star Families, first responders, their families, and those in urgent need.

Everyone’s individual feelings may vary at different times. Support is always available. 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. Below is a list of trusted resources and coping advice to be utilized at any time.

Military & Veteran Resources
Available Right Now

Veterans Crisis Line

If you are having thoughts of suicide, call 1-800-273-8255 then PRESS 1. Caring, qualified responders at the Veterans Crisis Line are here to help. Use the Veterans Crisis Line to speak with a specialist 24/7/365. For Veterans & Supporters. Available 24/7. 100% Confidential. Free Support. Call, Text, or Chat.

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.

PRS CrisisLink

When Crisis calls, we answer 24/7. Call: 800-273-TALK [8255] Text: “CONNECT” to 855-11. Lifeline Chat: Click Here

Marine Corps Distress Line

24×7 anonymous phone, chat and referral service using a ‘Marine to Marine’ approach. 1-877-476-7734

Vet Centers

Call 1-877-927-8387 or find one near you. Discuss how you feel with other Veterans in these community-based counseling centers. 70% of Vet Center staff are Veterans.

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.

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.

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? Call:1-630-522-4904 or Email.

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.

Veterans’ Mental Health Issues

looks at depression among veterans, PTSD in military veterans, anxiety after military service, co-occurring disorders and substance abuse treatment and mental health assistance for veterans.

Alcohol Abuse Among Veterans

discusses the culture of alcohol abuse within the military, the connection between PTSD & alcohol abuse, provides statistics and a list of FAQs regarding alcohol abuse in military personnel and veterans.

Specialized Recovery Programs for Veterans

provides statistics of U.S. veterans with substance addiction, understanding how mental health and chronic pain affect addiction, finding treatment at AAC and other support groups for veterans.

First Responder Resources
Available Right Now

Safe Call Now

1-206-459-3020
A 24/7 help line staffed by first responders for first responders and their family members. They can assist with treatment options for responders who are suffering from mental health, substance abuse and other personal issues.

Fire/EMS Helpline

1-888-731-3473
Also known as Share The Load. A program run by the National Volunteer Fire Council. They have a help line, text based help service, and have also collected a list of many good resources for people looking for help and support.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-8255
The national (USA) suicide hotline. Not first responder specific, but they can and will talk to anyone who needs help. We’ve been told by one of their founders they have a large number of first responders and veterans who volunteer.

Crisis Text Line

A service that allows people in crisis to speak with a trained crisis counselor by texting “Start” or “Help” to 741-741.

Copline – Law Enforcement Only

1-800-267-5463
A confidential helpline for members of US law enforcement. Their website also has additional information on help and resources.

Frontline Helpline

1-866-676-7500
Run by Frontline Responder Services. Offer 24/7 coverage with first responder call-takers.

Kristin Brooks Hopeline

1-800-442-4673
Another national (USA) hotline for people suffering from mental health issues.

Common Reactions Resources Available Right Now

In reaction to current events in Afghanistan, Veterans may:

  • Feel frustrated, sad, helpless, grief or distressed
  • Feel angry or betrayed
  • Experience an increase in mental health symptoms like symptoms of PTSD or depression
  • Sleep poorly, drink more or use more drugs
  • Try to avoid all reminders or media or shy away from social situations
  • Have more military and homecoming memories

Veterans may question the meaning of their service or whether it was worth the sacrifices they made. They may feel more moral distress about experiences they had during their service.

Veterans may feel like they need to expect and/or prepare for the worst. For example, they may:

  • Become overly protective, vigilant, and guarded
  • Become preoccupied by danger
  • Feel a need to avoid being shocked by, or unprepared for, what may happen in the future

Feeling distress is a normal reaction to negative events, especially ones that feel personal. It can be helpful to let yourself feel those feelings rather than try to avoid them. Often, these feelings will naturally run their course. If they continue without easing up or if you feel overwhelmed by them, the suggestions below can be helpful.

Strategies for Managing Ongoing Distress

At this moment, it may seem like all is lost, like your service or your sacrifices were for nothing. Consider the ways that your service made a difference, the impact it had on others’ lives or on your own life. Remember that now is just one moment in time and that things will continue to change.

It can be helpful to focus on the present and to engage in the activities that are most meaningful and valuable to you. Is there something you can do today that is important to you? This can be as an individual, a family member, a parent, or a community member. Something that is meaningful to you in regard to your work or your spirituality? Such activities won’t change the past or the things you can’t control, but they can help life feel meaningful and reduce distress, despite the things you cannot change.

It can also help to consider your thinking. Ask yourself if your thoughts are helpful to you right now. Are there ways you can change your thinking to be more accurate and less distressing? For example, are you using extreme thinking where you see the situation as all bad or all good? If so, try and think in less extreme terms. For example, rather than thinking “my service in Afghanistan was useless” consider instead “I helped keep Afghanistan safe.”

Finally, consider more general coping strategies that you may want to try including:

  • Engage in Positive Activities. Try to engage in positive, healthy, or meaningful activities, even if they are small, simple actions. Doing things that are rewarding, meaningful, or enjoyable, even if you don’t feel like it, can make you feel better.
  • Stay Connected. Spend time with people who give you a sense of security, calm, or happiness, or those who best understand what you are going through.
  • Practice Good Self Care. Look for positive coping strategies that help you manage your emotions. Listening to music, exercising, practicing breathing routines, spending time in nature or with animals, journaling, or reading inspirational text are some simple ways to help manage overwhelming or distressing emotions.
  • Stick to Your Routines. It can be helpful to stick to a schedule for when you sleep, eat, work, and do other day-to-day activities.
  • Limit Media Exposure. Limit how much news you take in if media coverage is increasing your distress.
  • Use a mobile app. Consider one of VA’s self-help apps (see https://www.ptsd.va.gov/appvid/mobile/) such as PTSD Coach which has tools that can help you deal with common reactions like stress, sadness, and anxiety. You can also track your symptoms over time.
  • PTSD Coach Online. A series of online video coaches will guide you through 17 tools to help you manage stress. PTSD Coach Online is used on a computer, rather than a mobile device, and therefore can offer tools that involve writing.

If you develop your own ways of adapting to ongoing events and situations, you may gain a stronger sense of being able to deal with challenges, a greater sense of meaning or purpose, and an ability to mentor and support others in similar situations.

CONTACT US

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THE ROBERT IRVINE BRAND FAMILY

Veterans in Crisis
1-800-273-8255
A single act of kindness can help someone feel less alone. Your actions could help save a life. #bethere

Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors
1-800-959-TAPS
Whether you are in emotional crisis, need to connect with TAPS resources and programs, or just want to remind yourself that you are a part of a loving, supporting family.

Marine Corps Distress Line
1-877-476-7734
24×7 anonymous phone, chat and referral service using a ‘Marine to Marine’ approach.

Robert Irvine Foundation
Robert Irvine Foundation A tax-exempt public charity (federal tax ID #46-5420676). All contributions are tax deductible to the extent allowable by law.