Transition to Civilian Life with Help

Transition to Civilian Life with Help

Author: 
Rebecca Fraynt, Ph.D., psychologist at the National Center for Telehealth & Technology

Rebecca Fraynt, Ph.D., psychologist at the National Center for Telehealth & Technology

If you or your loved one are in the process of transitioning out of the military and feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone. A 2010 survey found that 25-56 percent of veterans from current conflicts faced difficulties transitioning. Helping service members transition successfully is a priority for the Defense Department and Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as for many nonprofit, academic and even private organizations. While there are a variety of resources available to help with the process, one report showed that 60 percent of veterans surveyed said their most significant transition challenge was figuring out where to go for help. Try these four resources:

  • inTransition: This free, voluntary Defense Department program provides behavioral health care support to service members and veterans as they move between health care systems or providers. Personal coaches, along with resources and tools, help service members during the transition period, empower them to make healthy life choices, and are available 24/7 via a toll-free call. Learn more about the inTransition program.
     
  • RallyPoint6: This nonprofit organization helps service members and veterans plan the transition process with help from a personal coach called a “scout.” RallyPoint6 also sponsors workshops on how to pursue employment or educational opportunities after military service, and has offices in Washington, Virginia, Texas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Colorado and Kansas. To learn more about their services and programs, visit the RallyPoint6 website.
     
  • Onward2Opportunity: This partnership between the Schultz Family Foundation and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families provides free certification courses to service members and their spouses in a variety of high-demand career fields. Onward2Opportunity also connects service members and their spouses with potential employers. The group has locations on military installations throughout the United States, and also offers online courses. For more information, visit the Onward2Opportunity website.
     
  • AmericaServes: This non-profit initiative helps coordinate all the transition services available to service members and veterans in a community. Here’s an example of how AmericaServes works: John is a veteran who wants help writing his resume for job interviews; he also needs behavioral health services. John goes to an organization like RallyPoint6 for resume assistance, and lets his “scout” know that he needs behavioral health services. Although RallyPoint6 does not directly provide those services, John’s scout can access the AmericaServes Unite Us software to look up trusted providers in the community who provide this service (such as inTransition), select a service from the list and send them a referral. The provider will then call John to help him schedule a behavioral health appointment. This service saves John the time it would have taken him to research services, decide on a provider and make the appointment himself. AmericaServes has community programs in New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina and Washington. For more information, visit the AmericaServes website.

These resources are just some of those available for service members, veterans and their families. Talk with your local Transition Assistance Program, the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) Outreach Center (available 24/7) or the Department of Veterans Affairs to find other organizations to help you with your specific needs.

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