Back to Health

Make a connection to mental health, a VA program, helps veterans regain and maintain their mental health through the use of online videos where veterans talk to veterans. Photo Credit: Make The Connection

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For many Americans, and some veterans, living through the past several years of COVID-19 induced chaos has been a struggle.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, this struggle has had - and will continue to have - a negative effect on mental health. Specific to veterans, the CDC reports that they may experience more worry or anxiety about contracting COVID-19 or about their ability to get recommended care. This fear can lead to an onset of or worsening of mental health problems.

While many organizations offer resources to help veterans struggling with the anxiety brought on by COVID-19 or the increasing of existing mental health issues, the Veterans Administration has a program that offers a friendly, caring and helpful voice.

Make The Connection is a campaign designed to allow veterans to hear from other veterans. At the center of it all is a website,, which features numerous veterans who have shared their experiences, challenges and triumphs.

Launched in 2011 by then Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki, the VA has leveraged the connection by presenting an approachable online resource that links veterans to personal stories from their peers, to VA resources and support, and to reliable information about mental health and resilience.

"I have seen over and over again how important it can be for a veteran to hear a message from another veteran ... it is helping to break down the stigma associated with mental health issues and treatment," Shinseki said at the time.

At, veterans and their family members can explore information on mental health issues, treatment and support in comfort and privacy, anytime, anywhere.

Visitors to the site can also customize and filter their online experience, directly connecting with content that is most helpful to their own situations.

"I went to the site, picked my gender, conflict in which I served, branch of service, combat experience and whether or not a friend or family member had asked me to seek help," an Army veteran who wished to remain anonymous and served at Joint Base Lewis-McChord said recently.

"I'm glad I did. With what I've been through, and what I've put my family through both after Iraq and since COVID, it has helped me a lot."

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