VA Offers Guidance to Friends and Family

August 24, 2011 | Kate Horrell

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has launched a new program designed to help friends and family of veterans who require assistance getting into the VA medical system.  The new program, called Coaching Into Care, provides a single contact for a veteran’s friends or family who might not understand the VA medical system, or might need help encouraging a veteran to reach out for those services.  The literature seems to point towards mental health issues and counseling resources, though it doesn’t specifically say that it is only for those services.

Once a veteran returns home, he or she may have difficulty reintegrating into their family or community.  The people closest to the veteran are often the first people to notice that things aren’t going well.  The veteran may not be able to see that there is a problem, or may not want to seek help.  Coaching Into Care will provide resources to help get a veteran hooked into one of the many available programs.

Coaching into Care is available Monday through Friday, 8 am to 8 pm, Eastern time.    The telephone number is 888-823-7458.  You can also email them at CoachingIntoCare@va.gov. If a  veteran or service member is in need of  immediate help, they should call 800-273-8255 and press 1 for veteran or service member.

The headlines have been full of stories about service members who seek care and can’t get it.  I know that the VA is working very hard to reach out to all veterans.  They aren’t doing a perfect job, but this is yet another tool to help improve the process.