The Department of Veterans Affairs is implementing a telephone support program to help spouses of returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans after a pilot telephone support program showed significant reduction in stress for the spouses.
The spouse telephone support program, which is part of VA's Caregiver Support Program, builds spouses' ability to cope with the challenges that reintegration to civilian society can bring, helps them serve as a pillar of support for returning veterans, and eases the transition for families after deployments. Spouses in the pilot program reported decreased symptoms of depression and anxiety, with an increase in social support.
Local caregiver support coordinators are available to assist veterans and their caregivers in understanding and applying for VA's many caregiver benefits. VA also has a website, www.caregiver.va.gov, with general information on spouse telephone support and other caregiver support programs available.