Available in Spanish: Ayudar al Veterano para que Reciba la Atención Necesaria | Ver todos
You may notice that things are not right for your loved one who served in combat, Do you know what to say? You might try to talk to him or her but find that when you do, things don't go well. When family or friends see a Veteran having difficulty adjusting to post-deployment life, it can be hard to know how to help.
If you notice a difference in your loved one after return from combat, it might be worth talking about. "Normal" is different for everyone, but there are signs your Veteran may need help. Some examples are sleep problems, feeling down or depressed, becoming easily angered or withdrawn, difficulties at work or in personal relationships, excessive drinking or drug use, or reckless driving. The Returning from the War Zone Guides (PDF) provide more details on what to expect.
It can be hard to tell someone you think they need to seek help. It can be difficult to say what you mean if you are worried. Also, it can be hard for someone to listen if he or she is anxious, or even angry.
Mental health care is helpful only if your Service Member or Veteran makes that decision for himself or herself. Someone can accept making changes only when he or she truly feels there is a choice. Here are some tips for you to make it easier for your loved one to seek care:
VA has a program called Coaching Into Care to help family and friends of returning Veterans. A coach will help you figure out what to say to your Veteran and to help get him or her into care if needed.
Each family is different. Some people may need just one call, and others may find it helpful to have several calls with us over a few weeks. Coaching Into Care is free, and helps you make progress toward the goal of getting your Veteran to seek help by:
Coaching Into Care takes the privacy of you and your Veteran very seriously. Coaches are aware of your concerns about the risk of getting your Veteran upset or into trouble. Every aspect of your care - from first call to services - are kept private, except in cases where we act to protect the lives of you, your Veteran, loved ones, or others.
Call Coaching Into Care: 1-888-823-7458