Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

A peer hotline for veterans

The note below recommends a peer hotline for veterans, at 1-855-838-8255. As I understand it, these are not expert counselors, rather people who have been there — but talking to such people can be helpful in a moment of crisis, panic or doubt. The bottom line is that a peer hotline, established several years ago ...

Vets4Warriors
Vets4Warriors
Vets4Warriors

The note below recommends a peer hotline for veterans, at 1-855-838-8255. As I understand it, these are not expert counselors, rather people who have been there -- but talking to such people can be helpful in a moment of crisis, panic or doubt.

The bottom line is that a peer hotline, established several years ago for the NJ Guard, is now nationwide and serving the Guard and Reserves and their families in all 50 states and territories. Although supported by the Guard and Reserves, the program is independent, free and confidential.

Since the death of our son by suicide, we've become convinced that there will always be a population of soldiers and vets who cannot or will not use VA or DoD mental health services and that there must be other alternatives. This is a good one - the folks at UMDNJ are wonderful, deeply committed, and absolutely stubborn. 

The note below recommends a peer hotline for veterans, at 1-855-838-8255. As I understand it, these are not expert counselors, rather people who have been there — but talking to such people can be helpful in a moment of crisis, panic or doubt.

The bottom line is that a peer hotline, established several years ago for the NJ Guard, is now nationwide and serving the Guard and Reserves and their families in all 50 states and territories. Although supported by the Guard and Reserves, the program is independent, free and confidential.

Since the death of our son by suicide, we’ve become convinced that there will always be a population of soldiers and vets who cannot or will not use VA or DoD mental health services and that there must be other alternatives. This is a good one – the folks at UMDNJ are wonderful, deeply committed, and absolutely stubborn. 

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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