Mental Health in Time of War: 10 Principles for Military Members, Veterans, and their Families
- Make connections:
Keep in touch with family, friends, and others. Connecting with people provides social support and strengthens resilience. Some people find comfort in connecting with a higher power, whether through organized religion or privately.
- Help yourself by helping others:
Assisting others in a time of need, such as doing volunteer work at a community organization or helping families of active reservists or military personnel serving in the war, can be empowering.
- Maintain a daily routine:
Keeping up with your daily routine of work, errands, household chores, and hobbies can provide you with a feeling of stability when the world around you seems chaotic. Sticking with a routine can be comforting to your children as well.
- Take care of yourself:
Make time to eat properly, exercise, and rest. Schedule time for things you enjoy, such as hobbies and social activities. Caring for yourself and even having fun will help you stay balanced and enable you to better deal with stressful times.
- Give yourself a "news" break:
Be sure to control the amount of time you and your family spend watching and reading war-related news coverage. Although it's natural to seek out the news to keep informed, too much news can make you more anxious. Consider limiting your news intake to no more than one hour a day, and try not to watch the news right before you go to bed, when you need to "wind down." It's okay to turn off the TV or radio and allow yourself to focus on non-war-related things.
- Have a plan:
Having an emergency plan in place will make you feel in control and prepared for the unexpected. Establish a clear plan for how you, your family, and friends will respond and connect in the event of a crisis. Have a family or neighborhood meeting to talk about whom to call in emergencies or designate a place to meet if you can't reach someone by phone. Make a plan for your pets and a list of items you will need to take in an emergency.
- Prepare a security kit:
When pulling together an emergency kit, remember to include those things that give you comfort and security, such as a favorite book, a journal, or pictures of loved ones. Also include a list of your loved ones' phone numbers so that you can reestablish connections with them as soon as possible.
- Nurture a positive view of yourself:
Recall the ways you have successfully handled hardships in the past, such as the loss of a loved one, a divorce, or a major illness. Draw on these skills to meet current challenges. Trust yourself to solve problems and make appropriate decisions.
- Keep things in perspective:
Even when facing very painful events, try to consider the stressful situation in a broader context and keep a long-term perspective. Remember that wars end, and circumstances can ultimately improve. Previous generations have faced war and gone on to prosper--use their examples to inspire you.
- Maintain a hopeful outlook:
An optimistic and positive outlook enables you to see the good things in your life and can keep you going even in the hardest times. There are positive things in everyone's life, such as good health, a comfortable home, and strong friendships. Taking the time to identify and appreciate them will enhance your outlook and help you persevere.
This fact sheet is based on information contained in this brochure.
The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans 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. 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.
Veterans Heart Georgia: This grass roots organization utilizes innovative approaches to helping veterans of all wars with the entire spectrum of the effects of war and military service. The organization is made up of veterans, mental health professionals and citizens.
CareForTheTroops Inc. is a 501c3 Non-Profit formed to develop a network of civilian faith communities, civic organizations, and networks of therapists all trained and able to work with the military members, veterans, and their families as they adjust to the changes experienced during and after returning from deployments and combat.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Our Mission: IAVA’s mission is to improve the lives of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families.
This is the information for Georgia’s largest provider of VA services and the web site address
- Atlanta VA Medical Center
- 1670 Clairmont Road Decatur, GA 30033
- Phone: (404) 321-6111 hrs. 8:00a.m-4:30p.m.
- Website www1.va.gov/Atlanta 2
- 4-hour VA suicide hot line : 1-800-273-TALK
America's Heroes at Work: Welcome to America's Heroes at Work - a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) project that addresses the employment challenges of returning service members living with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and/or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
U.S. Vets Over 200,000 veterans will sleep on the streets of our nation tonight. Our VISION is that one day there will no longer be homeless veterans in America...U.S. VETS provides housing, counseling, job assistance, and HOPE to thousands of homeless veterans each year. Our programs foster the skills necessary for every veteran to return to the community and remain self-sufficient.