Veterans Crisis Line
The Veterans Crisis Line is a toll-free, confidential resource connecting Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified caring responders.
Veterans and their loved ones can:
- call 1-800-273-8255 Press 1 or
- chat online at www.VeteransCrisisLine.net or
- Send us a text at 838255
to receive free, confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 day per year even if they are not registered with VA or enrolled in VA health care.
The professionals at the Veterans Crisis Line are specially trained and experienced in helping Veterans of all ages and circumstances – from Veterans coping with mental health issues to Veterans struggling with relationships, transitions, etc.
Additional Emergency and Mental Health Services:
- Colorado Crisis Services 1-844-493-TALK (8255) www.ColoradoCrisisServices.org offering 24/7 walk-in and phone assistance
- 911 or VA Medical Center emergency room
- Psychiatric Emergency Services 303-393-2835
- 24 Hour Nurse Line 866-360-8020
The VA Medical Center provides counseling and resources for all veterans of all eras. They are located at
1055 Clermont Street
Denver, CO 80220-3808
We are a 24/7/365 VA organization, staffed by combat veterans to refer veterans and their families to Vet Centers around the country for readjustment counseling. We also provide peer to peer counseling for when vets are in crisis without suicidal ideation being present such as anniversaries of personal events or when fireworks are going off. We are requesting that you list our phone number 877-WAR-VETS or 877-927-8387 on your home page along with the number to the Veterans Crisis Line 800-273-8255 to provide information for veterans and their families for both critical/suicidal calls and those that do not require immediate intervention. Your consideration making this information available to our fellow vets is greatly appreciated.
Tom McCabe, LPC, MS, MHR | Supervisory Readjustment Counseling Therapist
PNCM(SW) USN (ret) 1-877-WAR-VETS
RCS Vet Center Call Center Manager Off: 720-874-1024 | 303.216.9074 FAX
14142 Denver West Parkwary Bldg 51 Suite 335, Lakewood, CO 80129
for additional resources:
www.artofredirection.com – Art of Redirection Counseling
www.giveanhour.org – Give an Hour
www.militarymentalhealth.org – Military Mental Health
www.peoplehouse.org – People House
www.ppbhg.org – Aspen Pointe
www.thesoldiersproject.org – Soldiers Project
www.vetcenter.va.gov – Vet Centers (Readjustment Counseling)
www.vhvnow.org – Veterans Helping Veterans Now
Expanded Mental Health Care
The VA announced expanded eligibility for veterans in need of mental healthcare due to sexual assault or harassment which occurred during military service. This expansion primarily pertains to Reservists and National Guard members participating in weekend drills. Recognizing that MST survivors may have special medical needs, other needs, and concerns, every VA facility has a MST coordinator to serve as a contact. Veterans do not need a service-connected disability to seek assistance for their MST related issues. Further, Veterans do not need to have reported such incidents to the DOD or possess documentation or records to support their assertion of trauma. Veterans also do not need to be enrolled in VA health care as the treatment for MST is independent of VA’s general treatment authority.
Treatment Settings & Services
VA offers a range of treatments and services to improve the mental health of Veterans.
VA offers treatments in a variety of settings, including:
- Short-term, inpatient care;
- Outpatient care in a psychosocial rehabilitation and recovery centers (PRRC);
- Regular outpatient care, which may include telemedicine services;
- Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Programs (RRTP);
- Primary care;
- Residential care;
- Supported work settings.
The VA’s focus is the following:
- Focus on Recovery – Recovery empowers the Veteran to take charge of his/her treatment and live a full and meaningful life. This approach focuses on the individual’s strengths and gives respect, honor, and hope to our nation’s heroes and their families.
- Coordinated Care for the Whole Person – VA health care providers coordinate with each other to provide safe and effective treatment for the whole person—head to toe. Having a healthy body, satisfying work, and supportive family and friends, along with getting appropriate nutrition and exercising regularly, are just as important to mental health as to physical health.
- Mental Health Treatment in Primary Care – Primary Care clinics use Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACTs) to provide the Veteran’s healthcare. A PACT is a medical team that includes mental health experts.
- Mental Health Treatment Coordinator – Veterans who receive specialty mental health care have a Mental Health Treatment Coordinator (MHTC). The MHTC’s job is to understand the overall mental health goals of the Veteran.
- Around-the-Clock Service – Emergency mental health care is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week at VA medical centers. If your VA does not have a 24-hour emergency room, it must provide these services through a local, non-VA hospital. Telephone evaluations at VA medical centers and the national crisis hotline are also available 24/7.
- Care that is Sensitive to Gender & Cultural Issues – VA health care providers receive training about military culture, gender differences, and ethnic issues in order to better understand each Veteran.
- Care Close to Home – VA is moving closer to where Veterans live by adding more rural and mobile clinics and working with other health care providers in the community.
- Evidence-Based Treatment – Evidence-based treatments are treatments that research has proven are effective for particular problems. Mental health providers receive training on a wide variety of proven treatments. Mental health providers must offer evidence-based treatments to Veterans.
- Family & Couple Services – Sometimes, as part of a Veteran’s treatment, some members of the Veteran’s immediate family or the Veteran’s legal guardian may be included and receive services, such as family therapy, marriage counseling, grief counseling, etc.
VA offers a range of treatments and services to improve the mental health of Veterans including:
- Short-term inpatient care
- Outpatient care in a psychosocial rehabilitation and recovery center
- Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Programs
- Primary Care
- Residential Care
- Supported work settings
VA recognizes that some groups of Veterans have special mental health needs. In response to these needs, VA has developed special programs tailored for these groups. VA special programs include:
- Service for Women Veterans
- Family Services
- Readjustment Counseling Services
- Military Sexual Trauma Services
- Services for Veterans whoa re homeless
- Services for Veterans involved with the Criminal Justice System
- Services for Older Veterans
DOD agrees to change bad discharges for Vietnam and other Veterans with PTSD – Sept 3, 2014
The Department of Defense will reconsider the discharges of Vietnam Veterans who may have suffered PTSD and were discharged before PTSD was diagnosed. PTSD was not recognized by the medical profession until the 1980s. Veterans form Vietnam and other past wars who received Other-than-Honorable discharges may seek correction of their military records if they can provide a PTSD diagnosis that existed at the time of service. Upgraded discharges may result int he restoration and opportunity for Veterans to obtain benefits. Note, the guidance from the Pentagon is focused on Veterans with low-level misconduct and is unlikely to affect Veterans who were court martialed for serious misconduct. The Pentagon’s goal is to address those who suffered from a legitimate disorder without eroding the respect derived from honorable service.
A Veteran seeking to revise his/her DD214 will have to prove the following:
- He/she suffered from PTSD at the time of service
- The cause was military related
- the symptoms were a factor of the misconduct underlying the discharge
- PTSD coach online: www.PTSD.va.gov/apps/PTSDCoachonline is a free app for Apple and Andriod phones offering 17 tools to manage stress and issues like sleeplessness, anger, and anxiety.
- Mindfulness Coach – free on iTunes reminds users to stay in the moment with exercises they can do independently.
- Parenting2Go – free on iTunes helps returning service members sharpen rusty parenting skills.
- CPT Coach and PE Coach free on ITunes helps Veterans track symptoms and keep appointments organized.
- About Face (www.ptsd.va.gov/apps/aboutface) is a gallery of videos featuring Veterans and family members sharing stories about PTSD and how they found help.