Military Families

by Kaleigh Flanagan, PsyD candidate at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology in consultation with Robert Dingman, EdD, core faculty member and Director of Military and Veterans Psychology at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology

Military service members and their families face an array of unique and often difficult challenges. Since 2001, approximately 2.3 million active duty, National Guard and Reserve service members have been deployed, and almost half of those service members have deployed more than once.4 The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have been particularly taxing on military families. Almost 60% of US service members have family responsibilities and in the past ten years, up to 2 million US children have been exposed to a wartime deployment of a loved one.4

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Resource Organizations » Military Families

27 listing(s), including 2 with hotlines and 3 offering support groups

In Massachusetts

Organizations with hotlines

Veterans Crisis Line
Hotline: 1-800-273-8255 ext 1
Text: 838255
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. Many of the responders are Veterans themselves and understand what Veterans and their families and friends have been through and the challenges Veterans of all ages and service eras face. 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.

Organizations without hotlines
Outreach Center: 866-966-1020 is a wellness resource for the military community. Our mission is to help service members, their families, and veterans overcome common adjustment problems following a deployment. The resources and exercises on address post-deployment challenges, including: post-traumatic stress and triggers; conflict at work; re-connecting with family and friends; depression; anger; sleep problems; substance abuse; stress management; kids and deployment; spiritual guidance; living with physical injuries; health and wellness; and much more. The developers have strived to build a media-rich, fully interactive Web site. There are assessments, testimonials, forums, blogs, and workshops.

Bedford VA Medical Center - Mental Health Services
Psychology Service 116 B3
200 Springs Road
Bedford, MA  01730
Mental Health Services at Bedford VA and its satellite clinics at Haverhill, Fitchburg, Gloucester, and Lynn are available to treat veterans in the community with many different Mental Health needs. All new patients have their needs assessed in an evaluation, and treatment is planned under a psychiatrist's direction. Individual and group psychotherapy, as well as medication and other specialty treatments, are available depending on the assessment.

Make The Connection

A website sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs that connect Veterans, families, friends and clinicians to information, resources and support. It provides Veterans and their friends and family members with information, resources, and solutions to issues affecting their lives.

Mass VetsAdvisor

The Mass VetsAdvisor is a collaboration between the Massachusetts Broadband Institute, the Massachusetts Department of Veterans' Services, the Red Sox Foundation and the Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program. This Web site is a guide to anyone searching for benefits and programs for Veterans and their family members. The data is comprehensive and currently provides search results from Massachusetts and Federal resources, listing only the benefits and services the Veteran is qualified for, and, where available, an "action plan" to apply for the benefit. Users will be able to print, email, save, or forward the action plan to his or her Veterans Services Officer. Mass VetsAdvisor's goal is to refine and expand the site over time to improve the quality of the information and to increase the knowledge and use of benefits, programs, and services to Veterans and their families.

Massachusetts Department of Veterans' Services
600 Washington St., 7th Floor
Boston, MA  02111
Provides information on state and federal benefits, including details about where and how to apply. In addition to resources for veterans and their dependents, the website contains information for members of the Guard and Reserve who have been called-up to active duty.
State benefits include public assistance for indigent veterans and tuition waivers at state colleges and universities. Every city and town in the Commonwealth has a Veterans' Service Officer (VSO), who is there to find veterans, advise them of their rights and benefits, and then to assist veterans as they apply for and receive state and federal benefits. The Women Veterans' Network, a program of DVS, acts as a central resource for women veterans in Massachusetts. Through confidential peer support the SAVE Team advocates for veterans who experience barriers in obtaining benefits by acting as a liaison between veterans and their families and the various agencies within the federal and state government.

Military & Family Life Consultant (MFLC) Program

MHNGS has provided short-term, non-medical counseling to Service Members and their families through the Military & Family Life Consultant (MFLC) Program to augment existing military support programs worldwide since 2004. Through the MFLC Program, licensed clinical providers assist Service Members and their families with issues they may face through the cycle of deployment - from leaving their loved ones and possibly living and working in harm's way to reintegrating with their community and family

Military Rape Crisis Center
The Military Rape Crisis Center provides immediate crisis care, support, legal assistance, and hope to all survivors of Military Sexual Trauma and their loved ones. The Military Rape Crisis Center is privately funded and all services are free of charge for Military Sexual Trauma survivors. They have offices in Washington DC and Cambridge MA and have representatives in 35 states as well as Japan, Germany and England. The Cambridge and Washington DC offices are open by appointment only. Call to set up an appointment for either office.

NAMI South Shore
Offers support group(s)
19 Thaxter St.
Hingham, MA  02043
If you or a loved one believes you have a mental illness or received a diagnosis of a mental illness and you need to find out more information: we can help.
If you want to know how to use the mental health services and benefits system to get help for yourself or your loved one: we can help.

National Center for PTSD
150 South Huntington Street
Jamaica Plain, MA  02130
The National Center for PTSD is dedicated to excellence in research and education on the prevention, understanding, and treatment of PTSD. Its purpose is to improve the well-being and understanding of veterans and others suffering from PTSD. The website includes the definition of PTSD, fact sheets on topics related to PTSD, and information of finding professional help.

National Center for PTSD
Women's Health Sciences Division 166B-3
150 South Huntington Street
Jamaica Plain, MA  02130
The Women's Health Sciences Division located in Boston, MA, focuses on the special issues of women and PTSD, and especially on effective treatments. The Division has pioneered research on the psychological impact of military service on women veterans. Such initiatives include development of psychological assessment techniques, the impact of sexual assault and military sexual trauma, and on the effect of PTSD on women's health and medical problems. There is also a major focus on treatment dissemination and training.

New England Center for Homeless Veterans
17 Court Street
East Boston, MA  02128
Now in its third decade of service, The New England Center for Homeless Veterans (NECHV) is a multi-dimension service and care provider dedicated to assisting Veterans who are facing or at-risk of homelessness. The Center offers a broad array of programs and services that enable success, reintegration, meaningful employment and independent

Statewide Advocacy for Veteran's Empowerment (SAVE)
600 Washington St., Suite 1100
Boston, MA  02111
The SAVE program's primary mission is prevention of suicide and mental health distress through the identification of issues facing veterans when they return from service and proactively providing them with access to benefits and services that may address these issues and result in positive transitions back to civilian life.

Strategic Outreach to Families of All Reservists (SOFAR)
Offers support group(s)
1619 Mass Ave, #25
Cambridge, MA  02238
SOFAR:Strategic Outreach to Families of All Reservists is a pro bono, mental health project that provides free psychological support, psychotherapy, psychoeducation and prevention services to extended family of reserve and national guard deployed during the Global War on Terrorism from time of alert through the period of reunion and reintegration.

The Home Base Program
101 Merrimac Street, Suite 250
Boston, MA  02114
The Home Base Program is a partnership between the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital. We are dedicated to improving the lives of veterans who deployed in support of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and live with deployment- or combat-related stress and/or traumatic brain injury. We provide clinical care to veterans as well as support for their families. The Home Base Program also offers educational courses and materials for health care providers and the public. We're also bringing together world-class researchers seeking medical breakthroughs in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injury and stress-related disorders.

The Sierra Club Military Families and Veterans Initiative

The Sierra Club's Military Family and Veterans Initiative (MFVI), formerly Military Families Outdoors (MFO) is a part of Mission Outdoors, the Sierra Club's campaign to ensure that America gets outside! MFVI helps American military service members, veterans, and their families use the land they defended.
MFVI provides a variety of opportunities for military service members and their families to find adventure, camaraderie, a sense of mission, and relaxation through outdoor experiences. An entire family can reconnect at a retreat; a returning veteran can participate in a paddling, climbing, mountaineering, fly-fishing, or other outdoor adventure. Military children of deployed parents can find empowerment by going to camp.

Outside Massachusetts

Organizations with hotlines

Department of Defense Safe Helpline
Attn: DoD Safe Helpline 1220 L Street, NW Suite 505
Washington DC  20005
Hotline: 877-995-5247
Not toll free Hotline: 202-540-5962
Department of Defense (DoD) Safe Helpline is a groundbreaking crisis support service for members of the DoD community affected by sexual assault. Safe Helpline provides live, one-on-one support and information to the worldwide DoD community. The service is confidential, anonymous, secure, and available worldwide, 24/7 by click, call or text — providing victims with the help they need anytime, anywhere.

Organizations without hotlines

Give an Hour
P.O. Box 5918
Bethesda, MD  20824
Give an Hour understands that individuals who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and their families, may need help dealing with the effects of wartime service. This organization wants to help and offers a variety of mental health services to address individual needs. Give an Hour is a nonprofit organization providing free mental health services to U.S. military personnel and loved ones affected by the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Give an Hour is offering services to anyone who is or has been affected directly or indirectly (through a relationship with someone in the military) by the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Give an Hour is also providing links to a variety of resources for military families, including articles that discuss the kinds of difficulties military families encounter and services available from national, state, and local organizations.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)
New York Headquarters
292 Madison Ave, 10th Floor
New York, NY  10017
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) is the first and largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization for new veterans, with over 200,000 Member Veterans and supporters nationwide. IAVA is a 21st Century veterans’ organization dedicated to standing with the 2.4 million veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan from their first day home through the rest of their lives. Founded in 2004 by an Iraq veteran, our mission is to improve the lives of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families.
IAVA strives to build an empowered generation of veterans who provide sustainable leadership for our country and their local communities. IAVA works toward this vision through programs in four key impact areas: supporting new veterans in Health, Education, Employment and building a lasting Community for vets and their families (HEEC).
IAVA create impact in these critical areas through assistance to vets and their families, raising awareness about issues facing our community and advocating for supportive policy from the federal to the local level.

Military Families Near and Far

Military Families Near and Far is a free, bilingual (English and Spanish) website where families can create, communicate, and stay connected. Developed for military families, the site provides new ways for preschool and school-aged children to express themselves and communicate within their own family networks. New interactive tools for creating art, music, videos, letters, cards, and notebooks help kids explore their emotions and encourage communication. Materials from Sesame Street's ongoing Talk, Listen, Connect initiative and new materials from The Electric Company provide resources for parents and caregivers to help children cope with challenging transitions. Parents and caregivers can find information and multimedia resources on the topics of military deployments, multiple deployments, homecomings, changes, grief, and self-expression in Resources for Grown-Ups.

Military Homefront
Washington, DC  20001
MilitaryHOMEFRONT is the Department of Defense website for official Military Community and Family Policy (MC&FP) program information, policy, and guidance designed to help troops and their families, leaders, and service providers.
The Joint Family Support Assistance Program (JFSAP), also located on this site, provides support to military families who are geographically dispersed and are unable to access services on military installations. Services are delivered in local communities through collaborative partnerships.

Military Pathways

The military mental health screening is a free, anonymous survey that does not provide a diagnosis, but will tell you if you have symptoms that are consistent with a condition or concern that would benefit from further evaluation or treatment. It will also give you guidance as to where you might seek assistance. Questions are designed so you can review your situation with regard to some of the more common mental health issues including, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, alcohol problems and more.

National Military Family Association (NMFA)
2500 North Van Dorn St, Suite 102
Alexandria, VA  22302
The National Military Family Association (NMFA) is an organization dedicated to serving military families. The NMFA educates military families concerning their rights, benefits and services available to them such as Operation Purple®, a program that was created to support children of deployed service members.
The Joint Family Support Assistance Program (JFSAP), also located on this site, provides support to military families who are geographically dispersed and are unable to access services on military installations. Services are delivered in local communities through collaborative partnerships with Federal, State, and local resources.

Silent Siren
Swansea, IL
Swansea, IL  62226
The mission of Silent Siren is to build strong community collaborations that enhance and expand existing community crisis intervention/support for military service individuals and their families.
Silent Siren believes that the following actions and approaches will help achieve this mission:
1.) Empower persons supporting an individual with PTSD to utilize local emergency support services.
2.) Educate emergency support personnel and military families and caregivers about PTSD and the fundamental approaches to responding to PTSD crisis situations.
3.) Engage local community counseling & support resources who can be readily available to navigate family members and caregivers through crisis situation.

Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS)
3033 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 630
Arlington, VA  22201
Office: 202-588-8277
Helpline: 1-800-959-8277
TAPS is the 24/7 tragedy assistance resource for ANYONE who has suffered the loss of a military loved one, regardless of the relationship to the deceased or the circumstance of the death. Founded out of tragedy in 1994, TAPS has established itself as the front line resource to the families and loved ones of our military men and women. TAPS provides comfort and care through comprehensive services and programs including peer based emotional support, case work assistance, connections to community-based care, and grief and trauma resources. TAPS also conducts regional Survivor Seminars and Good Grief Camps at locations across the country.

Vets Prevail
641 West Lake Street, Suite 304
Chicago, IL  60661
Vets Prevail is an innovative new online mental health tool that is tailored specifically to recent Veterans, helping ease transition to life after military service and tackle post deployment re-adjustment challenges. Employing cutting edge technology, the program creates engagement through dynamically tailored interactions. The core content is rooted in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, the standard of care for treatment of symptoms related to PTSD and depression. The program incorporates interactive multimedia e-learning lessons, peer support, diagnostic self-assessments, and proprietary software for scheduling and tracking user activities, thoughts, and feelings. Vets Prevail was developed through the collaboration of mental health researchers and clinicians at top universities and hospitals with the backing of the National Science Foundation and The McCormick Foundation.

Wounded Warrior Project
4899 Belfort Road, Suite 300
Jacksonville, FL  32256
Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) takes a holistic approach when serving warriors and their families to nurture the mind and body, and encourage economic empowerment and engagement. Through a high-touch and interactive approach, WWP hopes to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation's history.

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Additional Sources of Information

Disclaimer: Material on the MSPP INTERFACE® Referral Service website is intended as general information. It is not a recommendation for treatment, nor should it be considered medical or mental health advice. The MSPP INTERFACE® Referral Service urges families to discuss all information and questions related to medical or mental health care with a health care professional.