Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.


Quick Links
Veterans Crisis Line Badge
My healthevet badge

Parents and Family Members

Parents and Family Members

As a parent or family member of a Veteran, you may have questions about how to support the Veteran you love. Having these questions is normal and shows how much you care. Browse the topics below to learn more about helping your Veteran loved one, and call Coaching Into Care for further assistance.

Do you need help encouraging a Veteran to seek mental health care?

Click Here

Join a remote study that can help you encourage your loved one to get the treatment they need and deserve, through a telephone coaching program. We’ll provide you with access to brief telephone coaching (support and advice) to help you effectively encourage your loved one to start treatment for their PTSD. If you are eligible and you join the study, you will be compensated up to $170 for your time.

Get Started

Communicate Your Concerns

Encourage the Veteran To Seek Care

  • Be patient. It typically takes more than one conversation for someone to seek care.
  • Don’t argue with or invalidate the Veteran’s feelings, thoughts or emotions.
  • Let them know that you are willing to listen without offering advice or suggestions. Avoid giving advice unless the Veteran specifically asks for it.
  • Minimize distractions during conversations with the Veteran by putting away electronic devices.
  • Consider limiting conversations to just 10–20 minutes or whatever the Veteran is comfortable with.

Support the Veteran in Addressing Mental Health Concerns

  • Avoid triggers that may aggravate the Veteran.
  • Talk about your feelings and, without forcing the issue, encourage the Veteran to share their feelings.
  • Plan activities with the Veteran on a regular basis. Try sticking to a schedule or routine.
  • Don’t force the Veteran into social outings, and be patient when they feel overwhelmed.
  • Watch this video to learn more about transitioning out of military service.

Learn the Signs of Mental Health Challenges

Treatment can help Veterans manage many symptoms of mental health concerns, including:

  • Changes in someone’s attitude and behavior that do not align with their values, morals or character.
  • Displays of uncharacteristic emotions like anger, anxiety and agitation.
  • Isolating from people and activities that they used to enjoy.
  • Difficulty taking care of themselves or other responsibilities.
  • Engaging in self-destructive behaviors like alcohol or drug misuse.
  • Expressing feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness.

Read Information About Specific Mental Health Topics

Get Additional Mental Health Resources