As the situation in Afghanistan continues to evolve, many veterans have shared they are struggling personally and emotionally. All of us at Home Front Military Network want you to know that you are not alone and there are many resources available.
Resources Recommended by the VA:
- Veterans Crisis Line – Call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1; text 838255, or visit online at https://www.veteranscrisisline.net/
- VA Vet Centers – https://www.vetcenter.va.gov/index.asp?from=explore.va.gov
- RallyPoint – Talk to other Veterans online. Discuss: What are your feelings as the Taliban reclaims Afghanistan after 20 years of US involvement?
- Download VA’s self-help apps – Use these tools to help deal with common reactions, such as, stress, sadness, and anxiety, and track your symptoms over time.
- Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) – Request a Peer Mentor
- VA Women Veterans Call Center – Call or text 1-855-829-6636
- (M-F 8AM – 10PM & SAT 8AM – 6:30PM ET)
- Together We Served –Find your battle buddies through unit pages
- George W. Bush Institute – Need help or want to talk? Check In or call:1-630-522-4904 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Elizabeth Dole Foundation Hidden Heroes – Join the Community
- Rosalynn Carter Institute/Operation Family Caregiver – Operation Family Caregiver
- American Red Cross Military Veteran Caregiver Network – Peer Support and Mentoring
- Team Red, White & Blue – Hundreds of events weekly. Find a chapter in your area.
- Student Veterans of America – Find a campus chapter to connect with.
- Team Rubicon – Find a local support squad.
HFMN Partners providing mental health support include:
Not only can you reach out to one of our case managers by calling 719-577-7417, you can also utilize the trusted services of our partner agencies—organizations like Pikes Peak Suicide Prevention and Operation TBI Freedom, plus many more. Below you find an overview of Pikes Peak Suicide Prevention and Operation TBI’s services and programs.
Help your brother or sister in arms by sharing their services with those who might be struggling considering recent world events.
Pikes Peak Suicide Prevention
The mission of Pikes Peak Suicide Prevention Partnership is to unite the community in addressing suicide in the Pikes Peak Region through education, intervention, and postvention.
Pikes Peak Suicide Prevention offers multiple services and programs. They seek to increase awareness through resource tables, panel discussions, suicide prevention presentations, etc. They also offer education through employer suicide prevention training, mental health first aid, and Support Rooted in Love (Parent Training). Lastly, Pikes Peak Suicide Prevention provides suicide support service—such as peer support groups, individual therapy, postvention support services and more.
To access free individual counseling an initial intake appointment is made to allow PPSPP to get all the necessary information to provide effective services and pair him or her with a provider. Individual therapy for suicidal ideation and counseling for suicidal persons at PPSPP is provided at no charge by Master Level Interns from university programs across Colorado. These interns are supported and supervised by a licensed clinical social worker. PPSPP maintains a waitlist for this service. After the number of allotted sessions are completed, the program participant is placed back on the waitlist until his/her name comes back to the top of the list. PPSPP will refer to other community providers as appropriate and works with community partners to secure pro bono services on a case-by-case basis.
The Pikes Peak region received a significant boost in the fight against suicide, thanks to a couple that has dedicated itself to the cause after one son took his life in 2003 and another died in combat about seven months later.
The board members, staff and volunteers of Pikes Peak Suicide Prevention are honored to dedicate their suicide prevention peer support services in honor of 2LT Jeffrey Carl Graham who was killed in action in Khaldiyah, Iraq 2004 and Kevin Alan Graham, Senior ROTC Cadet, died by suicide 2003. Retired Major General Mark and his wife Carol have dedicated their lives to serve in memory of their sons by speaking at local, national and international level to address the stigma of seeking treatment for psychological illnesses.
The program is comprised of peer supports spanning from group support, 1:1 peer support, and opportunities to serve as a mentor to local teens. Increasing supportive connections is proven to reduce risk of death by suicide. Most recently, PPSPP has received funding to add LOSS (Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors) Teams to provide immediate postvention support upon a loss by suicide, as a component of this program.
For more information on Jeffrey and Kevin Graham Support Services, or to seek help through the program, call 719 573-7447.
Pikes Peak Suicide Prevention offers an array of trainings and workshops to give organizations and individuals the tools to prevent suicide and suicide attempts.
- Question, Persuade and Refer or QPR, is a one-hour training that covers the basics of warning signs, how to talk about suicide and how to refer someone for help.
- Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is the most widely taught intervention skills training in the world for individuals 16 and u. ASIST is a two, 8 hours a day training that teaches actual intervention skills. Participants learn how to have the suicide conversation in a compassionate and supportive way, while still getting all the necessary information needed to manage risk and connect the person having thoughts of suicide to help.
- Trauma Informed Suicide Prevention provides education around how trauma impacts brain development and functioning. Additionally, participants will gain insight on how to more effectively support someone with thoughts of suicide who may also be impacted by significant trauma.
- Perfectly Imperfect: Support Rooted in Love is a workshop designed for caregivers supporting a youth dealing with chronic thoughts of suicide or other mental health challenges. Caregivers will walk away feeling better equipped to support the young person and themselves as the share this difficult journey.
- Verbal Crisis Intervention teaches individuals verbal techniques to support and de-escalate someone in crisis.
Suicide is now the leading cause of injury death in the nation. Suicide is PREVENTABLE. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for teens in the nation but continues to be the Second Leading cause of death among Colorado Teens. El Paso County continues to have one of the highest numbers of deaths by suicide annually compared to other counties in Colorado. 100% of all money raised stays in Colorado Springs and pays for direct services. Pikes Peak Suicide Prevention DOES NOT RECEIVE STATE, COUNTY OR CITY FUNDING! Support is through donations, small grants and a massive volunteer effort.
Operation TBI Freedom (OTF)
Operation TBI Freedom (OTF), a Craig Hospital program based in Colorado Springs, CO, lessens the burden for veterans living with TBI. With a veteran population higher than the national average and five military bases, the need in the El Paso County area for TBI services for our veterans are tremendous. Yet when a veteran transitions out of the military, the complex web of resources available to help them can be daunting to navigate even under the best of conditions. OTF helps these veterans navigate their return to civilian life by connecting them with resources and support to improve mental and physical health and provide direct services not readily available elsewhere. Moreover, operation TBI Freedom empowers veterans through individualized, relationship‐oriented case management.
As of 2000‐to date, it’s reported that there are over 430,000 traumatic brain injuries among U.S. service members worldwide. In addition to that, more than 185,000 Veterans who use V.A. for their health care have been diagnosed with at least one traumatic brain injury. Since Operation TBI Freedom’s inception, we have served over 1,300 veterans and active‐duty service members. As of date, Operation TBI Freedom has close to 300 active cases. In general, case managers contact their veterans weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi‐annually, or annually. OTF tailors the duration and intensity of its services to meet the needs of individual veterans.
Eligibility for Operation TBI Freedom are those who have served in any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces on or after September 11, 2001, be a resident of Colorado, and have clinical evidence or history of TBI after the start of their military service (regardless of the type of discharge they received). If a client is not eligible for OTF services, our staff works to find other appropriate community programs for them. Once accepted into OTF, veterans are assigned a Military Support Specialist (MSS). The team at OTF are all prior service and have served in multiple leadership positions throughout their careers. They have spent a considerable amount of time taking care of service members and their families while in uniform, so now, they’re able to leverage that same experience in taking care of veterans and service members and their families with positive outcomes. The staff has over 150 years of combined military experience.
Working as Military Support Specialists is an extension of their service, and they are passionate about what they do. The MSS works with each veteran to resolve any immediate crises and, at the same time, to develop a personalized, comprehensive recovery plan to advance reintegration into civilian life and long‐term self‐sufficiency. Recognizing that family issues and dynamic can be a source of both healing and conflict, OTF staff consider the needs of entire families in developing these plans and engages family members throughout the process.
Services OTF provides include assistance with crises management, medical and mental health referrals, employment/education assistance, outdoor therapeutic recreation, benefits assistance, access to healthcare, and navigation (governmental/non‐governmental agencies, DOD/VA). In addition to offering direct case management and wraparound services to military veterans and their families, OTF collaborates with multiple organizations specializing in particular areas. For example, we also work with the 4th Judicial District Court to provide Veteran Mentors for clients accepted into the Veteran Trauma Court (VTC) program. Veteran Mentors provide non‐judgmental, empathetic, and proactive support for participants in the VTC. Additionally, Veteran Mentors advocate for and assist VTC participants in accessing community resources and treatment that aids in their individual recovery goals.
Finally, OTF services are entirely free of charge. Insurance/co‐pays are not required, and there are no fees for service. Private donations wholly fund our organization, and we’re so grateful for all of the financial support we receive. Donations can be made through Operation TBI Freedom’s website at https://craighospital.org/programs/operation‐tbi‐freedom.