Challenges Accepted: The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Online Self-Help Portal

By Bari Sobelson, MS, LMFT

Challenges
Pixabay[Soldier Obstacle by skeeze on September 4, 2015, CC0]
Life can present its share of everyday challenges, especially for Veterans and their families. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) understands that those challenges may not just go away on their own. With that in mind, the VA has created a Veteran Online Self-Help Portal. At no cost to the user, this portal provides guidance for Veterans and their families when dealing with challenges associated with stress, transition, and their service.

“All of the resources are based on proven, evidence-based mental health practices. VA and DoD worked with Veterans around the country from all military branches to ensure these resources are relevant for all who have experienced and overcome the same challenges.”

This portal is accessible to anyone, anytime, anywhere and showcases a variety of resources including apps, videos, and other tools through the use of different courses covering a range of topics. Each of the topics are highlighted below.

Moving Forward
This course was created to meet the needs of Veterans and Service Members who are facing stress management, school and family balance, problems in relationships, coping with physical injures, difficulties with finances, and issues with adjustment. There are eight modules within this course, each containing videos, games, and interactive exercises.

Veteran Parenting
This course was designed with parents in mind, providing tools that can help with reconnection and parental strengthening. This course provides helpful tips on working through everyday parenting issues and those specific to military families by featuring stories from families and interactive activities.

Anger and Irritability Management Skills
This course offers both practical skills and tools aimed at assisting with anger management and the development of self-control. The following are the 8 modules presented in this course containing videos, games, and interactive exercises: Getting Started Managing your Anger, Understanding your Anger, Breaking the Aggression Cycle, Behavioral Tools to Manage your Anger, Cognitive Tools to Manage your Anger, Conflicts and Communication, Your Anger Control Plan, and Making it Work.

Path to Better Sleep
This particular topic (sleeping difficulties) is tackled through the use of a course featuring Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-i). The course is presented through the use of 6 chapters including Course Introduction, Track your Sleep, Sleep 101, CBT-I Overview, CBT-I, and What’s Next. Like the other courses in this portal, this course offers a variety of tools and resources through videos, downloads, helpful links, and activities.

All of the courses within this portal are free, available for anyone, and completely confidential. Registration is not required and no personal information is collected at any time. It is suggested that Internet Explorer is used for the best experience, as some users have experienced errors in Chrome. It is also recommended that your flash player is up to date.

If you would like more information about this wonderful resource from the Department of Veterans Affairs, click here.

This post was written by Bari Sobelson, MS, LMFT, the Social Media and Programming Coordination Specialist for the MFLN Family Development Team. The MFLN Family Development team aims to support the development of professionals working with military families.  Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network Family Development team on our website , Facebook , and Twitter.

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