Frequently Asked Questions
Coaching Into Care is a national telephone-based service that helps callers who are seeking care or services for a veteran. We take calls from family members and friends who would like to help a Veteran struggling with mental health issues obtain care in a VA treatment facility or Vet Center. We work with family members and friends to help Veterans to get the treatment they deserve and have earned.
Call 888-823-7458 (toll free). We can work with callers between 8 am and 8 pm ET, Monday – Friday. On nights and weekends callers can leave a voice message or email (CoachingIntoCare@va.gov) with their contact information and questions, and we will get back to them the next business day. (Note about email: Because phone lines are more secure than emails, we encourage potential callers to let us know a phone number at which we can reach them if possible.)
Coaching is when a caller and a CIC team member work together to figure out ways the caller can help the Veteran in their life. The coach might provide information about mental health issues, discuss the ways to communicate, or talk about ideas for solving problems with getting VA care.
No, there is no cost to the caller or the Veteran. The Coaching Into Care service is developed, funded and operated by VA.
The first call from a concerned friend or family member often takes 10 to 30 minutes. Follow-up calls can vary in length depending on the needs of the caller and Veteran. Sometimes one call is all it takes; other times our team will work with a caller for several weeks over a number of different calls.
The best thing to do if you are concerned about your safety or that of a Veteran is to call the Veterans Crisis Line (1-800-273-8255; Press 1) or your local emergency services (911). If you can travel safely, you can also go to your local emergency room.
You can also reach the crisis line on chat or text (838255) through their website: https://www.veteranscrisisline.net/.
Caregiver Support Line specializes in working with caregivers who take care of Veterans who are in VA treatment. They can be reached at 855-260-3274 or www.caregiver.va.gov.
Yes. While Coaching Into Care is specifically designed to work with family and friends of Veterans, we will also help Veterans connect with the right VA resource. Veterans who are in distress should reach out to the Veterans Crisis Line (1-800-273-8255; Press 1).
Another great resource for Veterans is the Vet Center Call Center (877-927-8387) who are there to listen — 24 hours a day.
All three services work closely together and call center staff will make sure you connect to the best service for your needs. However, each program does address specialized caller concerns. Coaching Into Care (888-823-7458) helps callers help Veterans seek care when they are not currently receiving treatment, the Veterans Crisis Line handles immediate psychiatric and life-threatening crises (888-273-8255, press 1 for Veterans), and the Caregiver Support Line helps those family members who are caring for a disabled Veteran currently receiving VA care and have needs associated with this role (855-260-3274).
Coaching Into Care encourages callers to care for themselves as well as for the Veteran they are calling about. While we do not provide mental health services for callers, in many cases we can help callers find local and state treatment resources for themselves and family members.
For information on VA benefits call 800-827-1000 or look online at http://www.benefits.va.gov/benefits/.