The holiday season in the U.S. is typically a time of being thankful, spreading joy, and spending time with our loved ones. We often think of the holidays as a happy time, but for many, the holidays can bring on tough emotions of sadness, separation, and loneliness. This is especially true for members of military families who may be separated during the holidays due to military deployment. The holidays can also be a hard time for military family members who may be dealing with PTSD, and trauma, and those who have been wounded in combat situations. And let’s not forget the many military veterans facing daily struggles and the invisible wounds of war.
Even though mental health issues in our communities are something we should be focused on year-round, the holiday season can be a special time to help those around us and abroad. Here are a few resources we found where you can help military service members and their families, both at home and abroad, to prioritize mental health issues they may be facing during the holidays.
Military Family Mental Health and Wellness Resources
- The first is through Military OneSource, which offers a wide range of resources including Health and Wellness Coaching, confidential non-medical counseling to help families dealing with short-term mental health and relationship issues, and financial counseling. Also, if you or someone you know is at risk for suicide, The Military Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day. Call 988 and Press 1. You can also start a conversation via online chat or text (838255).
- The American Red Cross offers a variety of services for military families covering emergency aid, deployment services, information referral, and financial aid. If your family needs emergency assistance, you can submit a request online or call the American Red Cross at 1-877-272-7337.
- MentalHealth.gov provides resources for Service members and their families, including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline @ 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
- The Psychological Health Center of Excellence (PHCoE) provides psychological health research consultation and expertise to leaders, providers, service members, and their families. To contact the center call 1-866-966-1020, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Finally, Military OneSource provides lots of great wellness apps including the Virtual Hope Box, which “help users with coping, relaxation, distraction and positive thinking using personalized audio, video, pictures, games, mindfulness exercises, activity planning, inspirational quotes, and coping statements.”
For more fantastic mental health resources for military families, stay tuned to our webinar event page for all of our great, live webinars coming up in 2023!
Cover Image:Pixabay[Energy by Pavlofox, April 13th, 2016, CC0]