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Champion veterans, military, and their families

The sacrifices of our nation's veterans, service members, and their families extend far beyond the battlefield. From the direct impact of war and combat to the challenges of transitioning back to civilian life, invisible wounds persist, impacting mental health, physical well-being, spiritual wellness, and social relationships. 


Many who have served report experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders. These issues not only affect individual well-being but also impact the strength and resilience of military families and communities. 


While entities exist that themselves are dedicated to supporting veterans, service members, and their families, people navigating these programs and systems of care often endorse that they fall short of being accessible and effective in meeting their multifaceted needs, sometimes even exacerbating existing challenges and bringing about re-traumatization. Factors such as inadequate funding to make trauma-specific services accessible as well as the complexity and fragmentation of the systems of care that currently exist comprise barriers to full recovery.

A trauma-informed approach seeks to bridge these gaps through coordinated, integrated systems co-created through authentically and meaningfully engaging the perspectives of veterans, service members, and their cared-for ones in the design and delivery of services and supports. Trauma-informed policies also work to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues commonly faced by veterans and service members. This, in turn, promotes greater accessibility to high-quality, right-fit services and supports.


CTIPP aspires to support the co-construction of a comprehensive care network that not only addresses immediate challenges but also contributes to the long-term well-being and resiliency of our veterans, service members, and their families. By fostering a sense of safety, shared purpose, and belonging, veterans, service members, and their families will be more supported to integrate and heal from trauma and flourish beyond the constraints of visible and invisible wounds.


This dimension of the vision calls for us to:

  • Fund programs connect those transitioning from military to civilian life to supportive services to help with acquiring stable housing, receiving needed mental and behavioral health services, securing employment, and facilitating family reintegration

  • Create integrated care pathways to ensure seamless transitions between service providers and programs, reducing stress and promoting timely access to comprehensive care 

    • Foster collaboration between government agencies, non-profit organizations, community members, and other people and groups invested in change to develop and implement comprehensive solutions

    • Invest in and promote telehealth services, mobile apps, and other technological solutions to support remote access to services, especially for those in rural or underserved areas or on bases that are more isolated 

  • Expand reimbursement for evidence-based, evidence-informed, and promising trauma-informed and trauma-specific interventions 

    • Increase opportunities for veterans, service members, and their families to choose their providers and service settings, including accessible, timely reimbursement mechanisms for those seeking care outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs

  • Enhance the cultural responsiveness of existing programs and services so that they are relevant and responsive to the needs of people from diverse backgrounds and identities

    • Include interventions and resources tailored to different populations within the veteran and military community, such as women, people of color, and LGBTQIA2S+

  • Address the disproportionate representation of veterans and those with military service in unhoused populations, people experiencing substance use-related challenges, and individuals who perpetuate violence, trauma, and adversity

    • Increase funding for housing assistance programs specifically for veterans and families of people serving in the military

    • Provide short-term financial assistance and other supports to help veterans transition into permanent housing

    • Implement innovative housing models, such as micro-apartments and shared housing, that are affordable and accessible to veterans

    • Develop specialized courts and diversion programs for veterans involved in the legal system

    • Create and fund programming and other opportunities for veterans to participate in meaningful activities and social events

    • Increase funding for participatory action research on the disproportionate representation of veterans in unhoused populations, substance use-related challenges, and violence

    • Develop and implement preventive mental health programs to address challenges proactively, focusing on resilience-building, stress management, and coping strategies 

  • Enhance substance use treatment programs targeted to support veterans and service members

    • Increase funding for promising trauma-informed and trauma-specific substance use treatment programs and interventions

  • Expand and fund initiatives that offer trauma-informed peer support networks and mentorship programs for active-duty military personnel, returning service members, and veterans

  • Provide more robust supports to address military sexual trauma

    • Improve confidential reporting systems and protections against retaliation

    • Implement prevention programs to address the culture of sexual assault and harassment within the military

    • Bring external entities to investigate and adjudicate cases

  • Build a trauma-informed military culture

    • Implement anti-harassment and other protective initiatives with accountability measures within the military system to ensure people can report identity-based discrimination without fear of retaliation

    • Equip military personnel and leadership with knowledge and skills to engage in a trauma-informed manner

    • Develop and implement support initiatives that explicitly recognize and address moral injury and moral distress among veterans as well as active duty and returning service members

  • Fund programming and supports for family members of those who serve in the military

    • Encourage the active participation of veterans and their families in the development and implementation of policy initiatives

    • Provide services to address the trauma and stress inherent in family separation and disconnection during the cycle of deployment

    • Embed trauma-informed support systems within all programming conducted by the Department of Defense Education Activity, which is responsible for planning, directing, coordinating, and managing prekindergarten through 12th grade educational programs for military families

    • Provide resources and support to families of veterans who are struggling with substance use, mental health challenges, or other issues

    • Develop programs that help families understand trauma and its impact on veterans to support successful reintegration among all involved

    • Cover costs of respite care and other forms of support to caregivers of veterans

  • Engage the Interagency Task Force on Trauma-Informed Care to make recommendations in creating coordinated, collaborative, and accessible trauma-informed, trauma-responsive, and trauma-specific actions to address and prevent trauma-related challenges

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