Vets4Warriors National Peer Support Line

Wednesday December 28, 2011

What is it?

The Vets4Warriors peer support line provides easy access to well-trained veteran peers who are prepared to offer all Reserve Component Service Members supportive, non-attributional conversations with a person who has shared similar experiences. Representing all branches of the military, this team of veteran peers has immediate access to behavioral health clinicians to respond to potentially emergent issues and can offer referrals to local community services, military veteran centers, and military healthcare providers based upon the needs of the service member. The overall program is designed to help achieve and maintain service member readiness through timely outreach, peer support, and referral to service providers or applicable agencies.

The Vets4Warriors National Peer Support Outreach Program capabilities include: (1) comprehensive peer counseling and outreach support services comprised of a toll-free peer support line, with web-chat capability; services are available to all reserve component service members, regardless of status; and (2) a targeted outreach capability to proactively contact potential at-risk populations over an extended period including members of the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR), pre-Basic Training service members within the Recruit Sustainment Program (RSP), Inactive National Guard (ING) service members, and Pre-Mobilizing/Demobilizing reserve component service members.

What has the Army National Guard done?

State level success has been demonstrated since 2005 when the New Jersey National Guard began utilizing a Vet2Vet peer support line to provide qualified support and tele-intervention efforts to service members. This Vet2Vet peer support line served as a model for the national Vets4Warriors peer support line.

What does the Army National Guard have planned for the future?

Following the Dec. 13, 2011, launch of the Vets4Warriors peer support line, the Army National Guard plans to continue nationwide promotion efforts. The toll-free peer support line, 1-855-VET-TALK (1 855-838-8255), is supplemented with web-chat capability, including comprehensive peer counseling and outreach support services.

Why is this important to National Guard and Reserve Component members?

The Vets4Warriors program is a component of a larger effort to promote individual resilience, risk reduction, and coping skills through peer support and referrals to community-based services. Peer counseling is an effective method to promote the growth of these self-development skills without the potential stigma that some service members may associate with help-seeking behavior. The program also improves awareness and access to local resources available to assist the service member, while the utilization data collected by the program can help shape and refine current support programs.

Resources:

Vets4Warriors

Army National Guard

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