Your mental health plays a fundamental role in your overall well-being. It is therefore important to have access to mental health care when and where you need it.
VA offers veterans safe virtual tools for mental health care outside of the traditional office visit. With the VA Video Connect app, you can access your mental health visits from home or any other preferred location. And you can use other VA Mobile apps to complement the treatment and support your personal care.
Virtual visits via VA Video Connect
Talking about mental health can be intimidating. And in-person appointments can create additional challenges for those seeking help. With VA Video Connect, you can connect with your VA mental health providers from the comfort of your home.
VA Video Connect allows veterans to meet with VA vendors through secure video conferencing. If you have a smartphone, tablet or computer with an internet connection, you can use VA Video Connect to attend TeleMental Health appointments wherever you are.
Over 97% of VA mental health outpatient providers have conducted video telehealth visits using VA Video Connect. If you wish, you can invite family members or caregivers to join your video visits. Some AV providers also offer group therapy sessions or other group appointments using the app.
To learn more, visit the VA Video Connect app page.
Annie App for veterans
Annie is a VA courier service that empowers veterans to take an active role in their care, including their mental health. The messages you receive from Annie may include mental health support, such as tips for reducing stress, setting boundaries, and practicing mindfulness and relaxation techniques.
For those who need bereavement support, you can subscribe to receive coping strategies, encouragement and educational materials. To learn new stress management strategies, subscribe to receive weekly motivational and skill-building text messages.
To learn more, visit the Annie app page.
The PTSD Coach app provides veterans with tools to manage their PTSD symptoms. It also provides resources for family members and caregivers looking to support veterans in their lives who have PTSD.
You can use the app to track symptoms, find information about care and treatment options, complete a PTSD self-assessment, and learn anger management and relaxation techniques.
The app was developed by the VA National Center for PTSD. A clinical psychologist at the center, Dr. Pearl McGee-Vincent, said the PTSD coach supports veterans’ self-care by helping them track their progress and self-manage their symptoms continuously throughout recovery.
To learn more, visit the PTSD Coach app page.
You can use the Mindfulness Coach app to create a simple and consistent mindfulness practice. Mindfulness can help those who suffer from anxiety, depression and chronic pain. It reduces stress, improves emotional balance and increases self-awareness.
“Mindfulness can be defined as paying attention to a purpose — being in the present with a non-judgmental attitude,” McGee-Vincent said.
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To learn more, visit the Mindfulness Coach app page.
Insomnia can make it difficult to function during the day. It causes concentration and mood problems and interferes with work and relationships.
If you have trouble sleeping, the Insomnia Coach app can help. You can use the app to access guided weekly workout plans to track and improve your sleep. You can use the app’s interactive sleep diary feature to track changes and get feedback on your sleep.
To learn more, visit the Insomnia Coach app page.
For many, the stigma surrounding mental health can be a barrier to seeking treatment. VA virtual care tools can reach people who might otherwise not want or be able to seek care.
To learn more about VA virtual care tools and mental health resources, watch the presentation recorded on Facebook Live, VA Tools and Technology for Mental Health Month.