By: Jessica Slider

When a Veteran comes home, or their military service comes to an end, their support shifts from military comrades and superiors to family members and close friends. Frequently it is friends and family who are first to notice their Veteran having a tough time adjusting. If you haven’t served in the military yourself, it can be hard to know how to help–what to say, how to reach out.

VA has several programs that help family members provide support to their Veterans, like Caregiver Support, counseling at your local Vet Center, and an initiative that got started earlier this year: Coaching into Care.

Coaching into Care is a telephone service that provides assistance to family members and friends trying to encourage their Veteran to seek health care for possible readjustment and mental health issues. It’s a national phone service that places priority to linking Veterans with benefits and services available in their own communities.

Secretary Shinseki pointed out that:

“Family members and friends may not know what to say to encourage their Veterans to seek much needed readjustment and health care. The Coaching into Care line will help them find the right words.”

If you think your Veteran friend or family member is having a difficult time and could benefit from readjustment counseling or mental health care, please utilize the Coaching into Care service: call 1-888-823-7458 or email CoachingIntoCare@va.gov .