Make the Connection: Shared Experiences and Support for Veterans

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Everyone has had some experience with feeling depressed, anxious, or overwhelmed emotionally, but if these feelings persist they can be a sign of a mental health illness. Left untreated, mental health problems can interfere with daily life, relationships, work, normal functioning, and cause pain for both the person with the disorder and those who care about him or her.

If you have any mental health concerns, or if you just need to talk with someone, mental health services are accessible. Learn more from the California Department of Health Care Services Mental Health Division Resources for Veterans.

If what you need first is to now that you are not alone in your experience or in struggling to live your life fully with the burden, you can begin at

Make the Connection is USDVA’s national public awareness campaign that features true stories of Veterans who have faced and overcome challenges. More than 600 veterans have participated by contributing their own stories and experiences as unscripted and candid video testimonials. We commend the veterans who have participated for their openness.

Make the Connection helps veterans recognize there are people out there like them who are going through similar experiences. The website offers a series of drop-down boxes that allow a visitor to sort the videos by gender, service, status, specific experiences, symptoms or behaviors, and physical and mental conditions.


Each veteran’s story of recovery highlights the strength and resilience of those who have served our country, and demonstrates paths to leading fulfilling lives. Veterans and their families are encouraged to “make the connection”— with information and resources, with the strength and resilience of veterans like themselves, with other people, and with available sources of support including mental health treatments.

The site also provides also provides specific, actionable information about a variety of problems veterans face from financial concerns to aging to relationship problems. Veterans as well as family members and friends of veterans can visit to:

  • Browse the video gallery of veteran stories to find those most relevant to you.
  • Explore topics relevant to your life and experiences or those of a veteran you know.
  • Find nearby resources and support services.

If you are currently in an emotional crisis and need immediate help, please call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline to speak with a crisis counselor. 1-800-273-TALK (8255).  Veterans choose prompt 1.

No matter when, where, or how you served, or what you’ve experienced in military or civilian life, you may be facing challenges that affect your health, relationships, and life. Whether your military role ended two decades ago or two days ago, you share with Veterans everywhere the common bonds of duty, honor, and service to our nation. Every day, Veterans connect with resources and support to manage and confront the issues they may have and find solutions for improving their lives. – from MTC website

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