written by: Elise M.
• edited by: Daniel P. McGoldrick
• updated: 4/25/2011
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a common and treatable disorder in military veterans. Many available resources are available through the Veterans Affairs System and Vet Centers. Find the help that you need here in this article for you or your loved one.
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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a serious and sometimes life threatening disorder affecting millions of U.S. military veterans. If you are a military veteran and think that you may have PTSD, please be aware that it is treatable and you are not alone! Please utilize these resources to improve the life of you or your loved one with PTSD.
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How to Enroll in the VA Benefits Program
The VA and Vet Centers are the most utilized treatment centers for military personnel with PTSD. In addition, clinicians at these centers are specialized in treating PTSD caused by military service. The VA has numerous benefits programs, depending on your military status, disabilities due to military duty, and time since discharge. To enroll, call (1-877-222-VETS) or visit your local VA facility and complete VA form 10-10EZ.
If you are interested in enrolling in the Vet Centers, you only need to locate your nearest one and walk in! Vet Centers pride themselves on aiding veterans in every step of the process of seeking help, including enrolling in services.
In addition to the VA system, veterans have access to the system of Vet Centers. These are run distinctly from the VA system and are focused more on veterans mental health needs. These centers often offer both individual and group therapy, as well as help veterans with VA paperwork and claims applications. Find the Vet Center closest to you by going to this webpage at the Department of Veterans Affairs and entering your zip code.
If you feel the most comfortable seeking help from a provider completely unrelated to the military and VA system, then you can search for a provider through the many psychological organizations (state, federal, disorder-specific). Click here for a link to searching for psychologists that specialize in cognitive and behavioral therapy, a therapy proven effective through rigorous scientific research:
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Help by Phone
In addition, veterans and their families may call Military OneSource to speak to a master’s level counselor and receive specific recommendations. Reach them here: 800-342-9647
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Here are some online resources available to you:
1) Veterans Crisis Line is a confidential help line and online chat service providing help for veterans and their families.
2) National Center for PTSD webpage for veterans and the general public. This page provides numerous educational resources to learn about PTSD, treatment options, and veterans personal accounts of their experiences with PTSD and its’ treatment.
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In Crisis and Need Immediate Help?
If you are a veteran and in crisis, needing immediate help, do not hesitate to seek help.
Call 911 if you feel that you are in imminent danger or may cause harm to others
Call 1-800-273-8255 to speak to a crisis call center (Note: you do NOT need to be suicidal to call a crisis center hotline!)
Chat with a crisis counselor online live, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by going to the Veterans Crisis Line and clicking on the red or blue “chat" links on the right hand side of the page: