Mental health is an urgent concern for active duty Service Members, Veteran families, and Gold Star families following the withdrawal of U.S. Troops from Afghanistan and governmental takeover by the Taliban after nearly two decades in the region.
The systemic effects of recent events are profound on these individuals and families, including potential increased risk for suicide. AAMFT has long supported Service Members, Veterans, and their families and we encourage marriage and family therapists to reach out now and over the coming weeks to support and provide resources to those who are struggling.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has provided an article on coping with current events in Afghanistan that explores common reactions, strategies for managing ongoing distress, and general coping strategies for those who served in Afghanistan or in other conflicts.
Emergency Support Resources
- Veterans Crisis Line: Veterans can receive support 24 hours a day at 1-800-273-8255 (press 1)http://www.veteranscrisisline.net/
- VA Mental Health Services Guide - This guide will help you sign up and access mental health services.
- 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.
- 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 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)
Other ways to get help or support Service Members and their families
- Joining Forces: Taking Action to Serve America’s Military Families– ongoing AAMFT partnership with the White House and other behavioral healthcare associations.
- Student Veterans of America - Find a campus chapter to connect with
- Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) - Request a Peer Mentor
- American Red Cross Military Veteran Caregiver Network - Peer Support and Mentoring
- Find a marriage and family therapist: aamft.org/findatherapist
- Working with Military Personnel and their Families– a topical interest network of AAMFT designed to connect members and provide informational resources to increase understanding of unique needs and approaches to working with military families.