The Department of Veterans Affairs will hold its first National Buddy Check Week Oct. 16-20. During this time, veterans are asked to make a pledge to contact up to 10 of their battle buddies and friends from service, as well as complete peer wellness, resiliency and S.A.V.E. suicide prevention training. Through these Buddy Checks, VA’s goal is to help veterans connect with their peers from military service, decrease isolation, increase access to VA care, and offer mental health and crisis intervention support. As Buddy Check Week gets closer, VA will provide training tools, resources and other forums to ask questions and share stories of veterans connecting with battle buddies.
Family members and caregivers of veterans are also invited to contact at least 10 veterans and complete peer wellness and crisis intervention training.
The American Legion’s Buddy Check program was launched in March 2019 as an initiative to urge local American Legion posts to contact veterans in their communities to see how they are doing and if they needed any help. To date, more than 1 million veterans have been reached through American Legion Buddy Checks.
The American Legion has a Buddy Check Toolkit that explains the program, provides steps to conducting a successful Buddy Check, gives sample scripts and more.