Connect to Wellness
According to a recent study, Veterans experience mental health disorders, substance use disorders, post-traumatic stress, and traumatic brain injury at higher rates compared to their civilian counterparts. The latest data from the US Department of Veterans Affairs states that 6,146 veterans who died from suicide in 2020, or 16.8 veterans a day. There were 343 fewer Veterans who died from suicide in 2020 than in 2019, and 2020 had the lowest number of Veteran suicides since 2006.The overall downward trends in Veteran suicide in 2019 and 2020 are encouraging. They followed VA’s launch of the 2018 National Strategy for Preventing Veteran Suicide (National Strategy).
The NYC Department of Veterans' Services (DVS) connects Veterans to services that can help them manage mental and behavioral health challenges. Our mission is to introduce Veterans to organizations and resources that can support their wellness journey toward a healthy and purpose-driven life.
Connect to mental and behavioral health services by filling out the VetConnectNYC form and selecting "Mental/Behavioral Health" as your preferred service:
Request Services on VetConnectNYC
Download the following one-pagers to review mental health resources available to veterans in NYC:
See below for a list of mental and behavioral health services:
Click a topic, or press the enter key on a topic, to reveal its answer.
In addition to counseling and peer support, coping strategies can help manage mental health challenges. Click on the links below to learn more about coping strategies:
Mission: VetCheck is a partnership between New York Cares and the New York City Department of Veterans' Services (DVS) that leverages volunteers to make supportive check-in calls to veterans across the city. This vital outreach effort creates a crucial point of connection between veterans and their community through phone calls that provide resources and information about public services, including free meals, housing resources, employment information, and mental health services. Most importantly, this intiative creates a way for New Yorkers to express their gratitude to our veterans for their service to our country.
- Headstrong is treating current and new veteran clients online.
- New York-Presbyterian Military Family Wellness Center offers telehealth services, individual therapy, group therapy, and couples therapy for veterans and their families.
- NYU Steven Cohen Family Center provides free care for veterans and military families who are experiencing the long-term effects of military service.
- Teacher's College Resilience Center for Veterans & Families pairs groundbreaking research on human emotional resilience with clinical training of therapists to assist veterans and their families as they transition back to civilian life
- VA Vet Centers are community-based counseling centers that provide a wide range of social and psychological services, including professional readjustment counseling to eligible veterans, active duty service members, including National Guard and Reserve components, and their families.
- Trauma and Resiliency Resources (TRR) provides free behavioral health services for combat veterans of all eras, a well as training for professionals. TRR's Warrior Camp is a weeklong, intensive, residential suicide prevention and trauma resolution program that utilizes a combination of evidence-based and complementary modalities with an emphasis on Military Moral Injury repair. During COVID-19, TRR has moved to digital services. More information is available on the TRR website.
- For additional online counseling and therapy services designed for veterans, visit OnlineTherapy.com.
Peer Support for Veterans
- The Objective Zero app gives veterans access to mental health resources and a peer support network.
- Vets4Warriors provides veterans, family members, and caregivers with 24/7 help from a confidential peer support network. Receive immediate, free, and long-term peer support through private chats, emails, phone, and text conversations.
- 988 Veteran Crisis Hotline is free and confidential. When you call, chat, or text, a qualified responder will listen and help. You decide how much information to share. Support doesn't end with your conversation. Responders can connect you with the resources you need.
- NYC 988 is your connection to free, confidential mental health support. Call or text 988 to speak to a counselor and get access to mental health and substance use services, in more than 200 languages, 24/7/365. At any hour of any day, in almost any language, from phone, tablet or computer, NYC 988 is your connection to get the help you need: suicide prevention, warm transfers & follow-up care.
- NY Project Hope provides support for those struggling with life during the pandemic. Call 844-863-9314.
- Worried About a Veteran (WAV) provides first-hand accounts from peers, suicide-prevention tools, and educational resources to friends and family members worried that a veteran they love may be considering suicide.
- Visit the New York State Division of Veterans' Services' Governor's Challenge website for suicide prevention resources.
- Stop Soldier Suicide connects veterans with a Wellness Coordinator who provides personalized attention and develops wellness plans that are customized to address a veteran's specific needs.
Veterans Suffering From Illness
- Mesothelioma Vets: Hundreds of thousands of military members were exposed to asbestos during their service, causing high rates of mesothelioma among Veterans. Learn more, including how to get VA benefits to fund treatment, at Mesothelioma Veteran Center.
- Lung Cancer Center: When someone receives a lung cancer diagnosis, it may impact the mental health of the person, their family members, caregivers, and friends. It’s important to recognize these changes and understand how this can affect the person and the people around them. Knowing the symptoms and warning signs of someone struggling can help you expedite getting the support and treatment they need to combat these effects.
NAMI Homefront is a free, 6-session educational program for families, caregivers, friends of military service members, and veterans with mental health conditions. NAMI Homefront teaches veterans how to learn to care for themselves and teaches their loved ones how to manage a crisis and show their support. The program also provides the latest research and information on mental health, including posttraumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, anxiety, depression and substance use. Find the NAMI Homefront nearest to you. If a class isn’t available, contact your local NAMI Affiliate about starting one.
The NAMI Homefront Mental Health Resources is a web tool accessible through computers or mobile devices that provides service members, veterans and their families with information about mental health conditions, treatment options, approaches to increase overall wellness, tips for self-care and managing stress, communication strategies, tips for transitioning service members, links to helpful organizations and crisis services, and more.