CIC eNews Fall 2015


CIC eNews
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Fall 2015 Issue



Can We Talk?

Coaching Into Care (CIC) has been a national VA call center for over four years now. Our mission is to educate, support and empower family members and friends who are seeking care or services for a Veteran. We assist callers in a myriad of ways – from directing them to information on VA health care and enrollment to helping them know how to respond in a crisis. Most of what we do is help callers talk with their loved one about difficult topics like mental health and making a decision to seek treatment.

The mental health talk can be one of the most difficult conversations we will ever have with a loved one. Let Coaching Into Care guide you. Each person and situation is different, but we know of some key steps to having a successful talk. Call us to learn what some of them are and what strategies might work best for you.

Golden Rules

  • Be honest, direct and straightforward
  • Avoid blaming and dwelling on the past
  • Validate feelings
  • Normalize experience when possible
  • Respect the Veteran’s autonomy and choices, and
  • Balance persistence with patience.

Love our Vets

When a Veteran you know needs help, call Coaching Into Care at (888) 823-7458 Monday through Friday 8am to 8pm Eastern. 


VA logoVA More Than Triples Volunteers in Facilities Nationwide through Summer of Service

09/09/2015 03:40 PM EDT

Meet a Partner...


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The following is based on a real case that illustrates the work CIC does. All identifying information has been changed.


Heather called CIC with concerns about her husband's PTSD. He was serving as a Sergeant in the Army National Guard and had been deployed to Iraq in the past. She reported that his PTSD was "terrible" with symptoms of anger, insomnia, nightmares and being emotionally “disconnected.” When he wasn't avoiding her, he was getting angry, and she began to feel like she was walking on eggshells. He had shared with her some feelings of shame about things he did and saw on deployment. He was resistant to the idea of getting treatment, fearing it might hurt his career. He also told her that he could handle it on his own.


A call responder talked with her about getting her own counseling, shared educational resources for her to better understand combat stress and issues like stigma and moral injury, and referred her to begin working with a coach. Heather and her coach spent a lot of time initially focusing on education and finding support for her, as she was experiencing some secondary PTSD and anxiety. She was able to find a local therapist through The Soldiers Project.


Her coach also encouraged her to tell her husband that she was seeking information to better understand his deployment, and he was accepting of that. This approach allowed her the opportunity to share with him resources she received from the coach, including articles and videos that normalized his combat stress reactions, helped address some issues of self-stigma, and that offered hope about treatment.


After an incident occurred where he had been drinking and had a frightening flashback, she was well-positioned to talk with him about treatment in a way that he was ready to hear.  He was willing to see the provider she had found through The Soldiers Project.  They had some couples sessions, then he went on to do individual treatment.  She feels her marriage would have been over if it were not for the guidance of the coaching and therapy. The conflicts in their marriage have decreased, and they are making plans for their future.


When a Veteran you know needs help, please call Coaching Into Care at (888) 823-7458 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern.

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Communication TBI

Tips for Communicating with People with TBI from Brainline Military

(Note: Many people who have TBI don't need any assistance.)

  • Some people with TBI may have trouble concentrating or organizing their thoughts. If you are in a public area with many distractions, consider moving to a quiet or private location, and try focusing on short-term goals.
  • Be prepared to repeat what you say, orally or in writing. Some people with TBI may have short-term memory deficits.
  • If you are not sure whether the person understands you, offer assistance completing forms or understanding written instructions and provide extra time for decision-making. Wait for the individual to accept the offer of assistance; do not "over-assist" or be patronizing.
  • Be patient, flexible and supportive. Take time to understand the individual, make sure the individual understands you and avoid interrupting the person.

When a Veteran you know needs help due to a TBI, call Coaching Into Care at (888) 823-7458 Monday through Friday 8am to 8pm Eastern.



Vet Day


CIC would like to thank and recognize colleagues who collaborated with us to promote or arrange care for our families and their Veterans:

  • Lucien Groleau, Health Science Specialist, Veterans Crisis Line, Canandaigua, NY

  • Laurie Shaw, National Chaplain’s Center, Hampton, VA
  • Perry Whitted, Program Manager, VISN 6 MIRECC, Durham VAMC
  • Eric Crawford, Ph.D., Psychologist, VISN 6 MIRECC, Durham VAMC
  • Veterans, Inc., SSVF provider in Northeast
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