Mental Health Resources for Veterans and Families | South Central MIRECC - MIRECC / CoE
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Mental Health Resources for Veterans and Families | South Central MIRECC

Collage of families of different ages, races, genders, abilities, and sexual orientations.

About

We honor and thank Veterans and their families for their contributions, accomplishments, and sacrifices during service. These families have concerns about mental health care issues and our free products can help. The goal of our program is to improve access to equitable mental health care for rural and underserved Veterans of all backgrounds. Join our email list to receive SC MIRECC updates.

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Addiction

Guide to Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome from Alcohol for Clinicians and Veterans
Problem Gambling Brochure
These guides describe the symptoms of and treatment for post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) from alcohol for clinicians and Veterans.
  • Each guide defines PAWS in language appropriate for clinician and Veteran audiences.
  • The clinician guide describes the use of Gabapentin as a treatment for PAWS, including an example titration schedule, benefits and misuse of the medication, and how it is used in combination treatment.
  • The clinician guide also discusses the prevalence of substance use disorders in minority populations and disparities in consequences for substance use.
  • The Veteran guide describes Gabapentin as a treatment for PAWS and the side effects of the medication.
  • Published 2021
 
The Safest Bet: A Guide to Understanding Problem Gambling for Veterans and Clinicians
The Safest Bet Guide
This guide aims to help Veterans, VA clinicians, and others learn more about issues related to gambling and to locate additional resources for problem gambling.
  • Can be used in sessions with a clinician, in a group with other Veterans, or as a self-help resource
  • Veterans using this guide for self-help are encouraged to seek out a VHA provider or other helping professional to answer additional questions or address any concerns
  • Has four modules that focus on readiness to change, thinking errors and tools, recovery, and Gamblers Anonymous
  • Includes resource list for finding help for problem gambling
  • Updated 2019
 

Anxiety & Worry

Calmer Life Program (ages 50+)
Calmer Life Logo
Treatment materials for adults aged 50 and over with worry and stress. Includes:
  • Community workshop curriculum
  • Clinician intervention manual
  • Participant workbook
  • Enhanced community care (information and resource counseling) template
  • Published 2018
 
Self-Help STOP WORRY: A Tool for Older Veterans
Self-Help STOP WORRY Manual
This is a user-friendly, guided cognitive behavioral treatment of generalized anxiety disorder for Veterans 60 years of age or older who experience high levels of worry and anxiety (CD is no longer available).
  • The workbooks contain eight chapters detailing skills, including anxiety education and awareness, relaxation (Diaphragmatic Breathing and Progressive Muscle Relaxation [PMR]), problem solving, cognitive therapy, exposure and behavioral sleep management.
  • Self-help workbook contains practice exercises and forms to monitor progress
  • Workbook may be used independently or as a part of formal treatment
  • Published 2011 | Updated 2020
 
Stress Less: Relaxation Enhancement Group Manuals
Relaxation enhancement manuals
This brief relaxation intervention is meant to provide short-term symptom relief for anxiety and stress.
  • Recommended as an adjunct to established first-line treatment approaches
  • Includes manuals for therapists and Veterans
  • Therapist manual covers a comprehensive Relaxation Enhancement protocol that includes relaxation practices, resources, strategies, and a log
  • Veteran manual can serve as a self-help resource to identify reasons to stress less
  • Updated 2019
 
Veteran Wellness Guide
Veteran Wellness Guide
This guide is for Veterans who want to improve their well-being.
  • It is self-paced
  • Does not require a mental health professional to use
  • Includes practical approaches for sleeping well, eating healthy, stress reduction, and getting the most out of your life
  • Recommended by Veterans
  • Published 2019
 

Cognitive Impairment and Dementia

Delirium: What Families Need to Know
Delirium Brochure
This brochure is intended to help families and caregivers of Veterans understand and manage sudden changes in thinking or behavior in loved ones. Explores:
  • The definition of delirium
  • Risk factors for developing delirium
  • How clinicians manage delirium when it develops
  • Tips for helping loved ones who are experiencing delirium
  • Published 2015
 
Management of Dementia Related Behaviors
Delirium Brochure
Dementia related behaviors include wandering, impulsivity, problems with sleep and appetite, feelings of depression, suicidal thoughts, and many others. These brochures help caregivers and providers identify and manage dementia-related behaviors.
  • Caregiver brochure defines dementia related behaviors, describes causes and treatments for these behaviors, and lists tips and services to encourage caregiver wellness.
  • Provider brochure is available in pocket and letter sizes and describes evaluation, contributing factors, and pharmacological and non-pharmacological management of dementia related behaviors.
  • Both brochures highlight resources for support.
  • Published 2020
 
PACERS Video: Dementia and Driving
PACERS driving and dementia video
This video helps providers identify and address driving and can be used to educate families and Veterans and provide strategies about stopping driving. Published 2016.
 

Depression

Gulf War Illness: Explaining Unexplained Symptoms
Image of service members alongside the words gulf war illness, explaining unexplained symptoms
This brochure describes the causes, symptoms, and treatment for Gulf War Illness.
  • Describes 3 diagnostic categories used to classify symptoms: fatigue, pain, and mood/cognitive difficulties
  • Describes treatment options for Gulf War Illness at VA
  • Provides registration information for the Gulf War Illness Registry
  • Published 2019
 
Major Depressive Disorder: Selecting a Psychotherapy that's Right for You
People hiking
Selecting a treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD) is a personal decision. There is no one treatment that is “right” for everyone. This guide helps Veterans learn about different treatments for MDD and then consider the pros and cons of each.
  • Defines MDD and psychotherapy options for treatment in the VA, including acceptance and commitment therapy for depression (ACT-D), cognitive-behavioral therapy for depression (CBT-D), and interpersonal psychotherapy for depression (IPT-D).
  • Helps Veterans talk to their providers about when psychotherapy alone, medication alone, or a combination of both is needed to treat MDD based on the severity of their symptoms.
  • Describes self-management strategies for mild levels of MDD that can be used by Veterans.
  • Highlights treatment options for Veterans with MDD who have other co-occurring mental health conditions like PTSD, pain, and insomnia.
  • Published 2021
 

Evidence-Based Interventions

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: An Animated Review
Screenshot from the ACT Animated Review Video
These six brief videos walk learners through the ACT Hexaflex.
  • Acceptance
  • Defusion
  • Self as context
  • Contact with the present moment
  • Values
  • Committed action
  • Published 2015
 
Community Reinforcement and Family Training – Support and Prevention
CRAFT manual cover
This family education manual is adapted from earlier work on the CRAFT model by Dr. Robert Meyers.
  • The program is designed to aide family members in improving their relationship with the addict/user, while encouraging the individual to seek treatment
  • Published 2001/Updated 2014
 
Psychotherapy Options for Veterans with Psychosis Brochures
Cover of psychotherapy for psychosis brochure
These brochures explain psychosocial interventions that can be helpful in the treatment of Veterans with psychosis.
  • Includes Veteran brochure that describes psychosis and what to expect during four treatment interventions
  • Includes clinician brochure that describes four psychosocial interventions for treating psychosis
  • Published 2019
 
Veteran Parenting Toolkits
Veteran parenting toolkit
This toolkit includes five sets of age-specific parenting materials.
  • Good for young Veteran parents and their partners
  • Published 2010
 
Walking to Wellness: Exercise for Physical and Emotional Health
Walking to Wellness Manual
This manual is designed for adults experiencing mild to moderate stress, anxiety or depression symptoms and emphasizes using activity for emotional wellness.
  • Workbook can be used alone as a self-help guide
  • Includes tip sheets that outline basic information about exercise and its benefits, worksheets to plan activity, and personal logs to record experiences
  • Published 2015
 

Job Readiness

COMPASS: Vocational Materials for Veterans with Barriers to Employment
The About Face logo with the title of the COMPASS job readiness program
The job search process can be, and often is, a stressful experience for Veterans, especially if they have a history of felonies. Concern over rejection, fear of new experiences, feeling unqualified, and explaining their history are just some of the feelings that can occur. COMPASS is a job readiness course for Veterans seeking employment.
  • Includes a manual that covers topics such as skills, job applications, resumes, interviews, networking, and more.
  • Has 21 videos that demonstrate job readiness concepts that are discussed in the manual.
  • The manual will take you step by step through a process of identifying your interests, naming your weaknesses, and exploring options.
  • Particularly useful for Veterans with legal barriers to employment.
  • Published 2020
 

Mental Illness and Stigma

MAPS: A Guide to Managing Adult Psychiatric Symptoms for Family Members and Friends
MAPS guide to adult psychiatric symptoms
This caregiver support packet is designed to be provided to family members of Veterans who are diagnosed with a mental illness.
  • Good for families that cannot attend VA support/psychoeducational groups
  • Describes various mental illnesses
  • Addresses caregiver stress
  • Published 2009
 
Psychotherapy Options for Veterans with Psychosis Brochures
OCD Pulse Page
These brochures explain psychosocial interventions that can be helpful in the treatment of Veterans with psychosis.
  • Includes Veteran brochure that describes psychosis and what to expect during four treatment interventions
  • Includes clinician brochure that describes four psychosocial interventions for treating psychosis
  • Published 2019
 

Military Sexual Trauma

Sexual Health After Military Sexual Trauma
Sexual Health After MST Brochures
These brochures for women and men raise awareness of the prevalence of sexual dysfunction after military sexual trauma (MST) and provide information on assessment and treatment of the disorder.
  • Includes brochures for providers and Veterans
  • Defines MST, sexual health, and sexual dysfunction
  • Veteran brochure describes sexual problems, the effects of MST on sexual health, resources, and how to get help at the VA
  • Provider brochure details DSM-5 and ICD-10 classifications for sexual dysfunction, provides tips on asking Veterans about sexual health, and lists resources for treatment, including the VA MST consultation program
  • Published 2018/2019
 

Pain

Gulf War Illness: Explaining Unexplained Symptoms
Image of service members alongside the words gulf war illness, explaining unexplained symptoms
This brochure describes the causes, symptoms, and treatment for Gulf War Illness.
  • Describes 3 diagnostic categories used to classify symptoms: fatigue, pain, and mood/cognitive difficulties
  • Describes treatment options for Gulf War Illness at VA
  • Provides registration information for the Gulf War Illness Registry
  • Published 2019
 
Veterans Tai Chi for Pain and Stress
Veterans Tai Chi for Pain and Stress
This video is a basic introduction to Tai Chi for Veterans and created by Veterans.
  • Can be used for mental, emotional and physical health
  • Helpful for people with limited ability to exercise
  • Can be done alone or in a group
  • Published 2018
 

PTSD and Other Trauma-Related Disorders

A Veteran's Guide to Talking With Kids About PTSD
Talking with kids about PTSD guide
This pamphlet is an honest and gentle guide in encouraging Veterans to consider their hopes and fears in talking with their kids about PTSD.
  • Can be used independently by a Veteran or in conjunction with a therapist as part of a therapy group, class, or workshop
  • Parents’ strengths are emphasized
  • Readers are encouraged to draw upon support from family members, friends, other Veterans
  • Rooted in a recovery approach and instills hope in Veteran parents, for both themselves and their children
  • Published 2015 | Content last reviewed by developer in 2019 and deemed current
 
Sexual Health After Military Sexual Trauma
Sexual Health After MST Brochures
These brochures for women and men raise awareness of the prevalence of sexual dysfunction after military sexual trauma (MST) and provide information on assessment and treatment of the disorder.
  • Includes brochures for providers and Veterans
  • Defines MST, sexual health, and sexual dysfunction
  • Veteran brochure describes sexual problems, the effects of MST on sexual health, resources, and how to get help at the VA
  • Provider brochure details DSM-5 and ICD-10 classifications for sexual dysfunction, provides tips on asking Veterans about sexual health, and lists resources for treatment, including the VA MST consultation program
  • Published 2018/2019
 

Stress

Calmer Life Program (ages 50+)
Calmer Life Logo
Treatment materials for adults aged 50 and over with worry and stress. Includes:
  • Community workshop curriculum
  • Clinician intervention manual
  • Participant workbook
  • Enhanced community care (information and resource counseling) template
  • Published 2018
 
Stress Less: Relaxation Enhancement Group Manuals
Relaxation enhancement manuals
This brief relaxation intervention is meant to provide short-term symptom relief for anxiety and stress.
  • Recommended as an adjunct to established first-line treatment approaches
  • Includes manuals for therapists and Veterans
  • Therapist manual covers a comprehensive Relaxation Enhancement protocol that includes relaxation practices, resources, strategies, and a log
  • Veteran manual can serve as a self-help resource to identify reasons to stress less
  • Updated 2019
 
Veteran Wellness Guide
Veteran Wellness Guide
This guide is for Veterans who want to improve their well-being.
  • It is self-paced
  • Does not require a mental health professional to use
  • Includes practical approaches for sleeping well, eating healthy, stress reduction, and getting the most out of your life
  • Recommended by Veterans
  • Published 2019
 
Veterans Tai Chi for Pain and Stress
Veterans Tai Chi for Pain and Stress
This video is a basic introduction to Tai Chi for Veterans and created by Veterans.
  • Can be used for mental, emotional and physical health
  • Helpful for people with limited ability to exercise
  • Can be done alone or in a group
  • Published 2018
 
Walking to Wellness: Exercise for Physical and Emotional Health
Walking to Wellness Manual
This manual is designed for adults experiencing mild to moderate stress, anxiety or depression symptoms and emphasizes using activity for emotional wellness.
  • Workbook can be used alone as a self-help guide
  • Includes tip sheets that outline basic information about exercise and its benefits, worksheets to plan activity, and personal logs to record experiences
  • Published 2015
 

Wellness

Veteran Wellness Guide
Veteran Wellness Guide
This guide is for Veterans who want to improve their well-being.
  • It is self-paced
  • Does not require a mental health professional to use
  • Includes practical approaches for sleeping well, eating healthy, stress reduction, and getting the most out of your life
  • Recommended by Veterans
  • Published 2019
 
Veterans Tai Chi for Pain and Stress
Veterans Tai Chi for Pain and Stress
This video is a basic introduction to Tai Chi for Veterans and created by Veterans.
  • Can be used for mental, emotional and physical health
  • Helpful for people with limited ability to exercise
  • Can be done alone or in a group
  • Published 2018
 
Walking to Wellness: Exercise for Physical and Emotional Health
Walking to Wellness Manual
This manual is designed for adults experiencing mild to moderate stress, anxiety or depression symptoms and emphasizes using activity for emotional wellness.
  • Workbook can be used alone as a self-help guide
  • Includes tip sheets that outline basic information about exercise and its benefits, worksheets to plan activity, and personal logs to record experiences
  • Published 2015
 
Wellness While Waiting Guide
Veteran Wellness Guide
The Wellness While Waiting patient education materials were designed to promote physical and emotional wellness for Veterans awaiting organ transplant and their caregivers. The guide covers several topics including common emotional responses to the wait for transplant, skills to increase emotional wellness, and strategies to continue engagement in health-affirming behaviors. The 5 supplemental handouts cover additional mental health topics (depression, anxiety, cognitive compensatory skills, relapse prevention for tobacco use, and relapse prevention for alcohol or other drug use). All materials also assist with care navigation within the VA by directing Veterans and their caregivers to appropriate resources. The Core Packet consists of:
  • The Wellness While Waiting Guide
  • Visit agenda cards to facilitate Veteran-Provider communication
  • A Caregiver Wellness handout to emphasize good caregiver self-care and offer further resources for caregiver support
  • Published 2020
 

 

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Contact

VISN16SCMIRECCEducation@va.gov

Use of these Materials and Finding VA Health Care

Please note that the health care information provided in these materials is for educational purposes only. It does not replace the role of a medical practitioner for advice on care and treatment. If you are looking for professional medical care, find your local VA healthcare center by using the VA Facilities Locator & Directory.

 

Last updated: November 16, 2021