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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Support line will provide free aid to all veterans

A new national telephone number created by Cigna Corporation will offer free support to veterans and their families. (File photo)

VIRGINIA BEACH — Veterans facing a variety of challenges can now call a national support line for free help.

The Veteran Support Line, which will operate nonstop 365 days a year, will provide aid to those living with chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and other conditions. It will also offer support to those transitioning to a civilian lifestyle.

Created by Cigna Corporation, the phone line – 855-244-6211 – is available for all veterans, their families, and caregivers.

It will also help callers find services and resources for “pain management, substance use counseling and treatment, financial issues, food, clothing, housing, safety, transportation, parenting and child care, aging services, health insurance, legal assistance and more,” according to a news release.

“America’s veterans made many sacrifices for us and put their lives on the line to secure our freedom. Now it’s our responsibility to help them achieve the security they’re seeking in their own lives,” said Karen Cierzan, vice president of clinical operations for Cigna’s behavioral health business, in a news release.

A more focused service will help veterans dealing with opioid addiction. From 2010 to 2015, the number of veterans battling opioid abuse increased by 55 percent.

A program called “Mindfulness for Vets” will also be available every Tuesday at 5 p.m. by calling 888-244-6260 and entering the passcode 536435. The group is designed to be “interactional, instructional and experiential,” according to Cierzan.

“Mindfulness for vets will provide training in mindful stress management, acceptance and compassion. The group will encourage veterans to observe their thoughts, feelings and sensations in the present moment without judgment, and cultivate self-care,” Cierzan said in the release.

Callers can also participate in other mindfulness drop-in sessions every Monday and Thursday at 6 p.m. and every Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. by calling 888-244-6260 and entering the passcode 388032.

“These groups are designed to offer a space where people can practice mindfulness, so there is no sharing of personal information during these groups,” Cierzan said. “Each session will provide a simple introduction to basic relaxation and mindfulness practice and is suitable for anyone at any level of experience with mindfulness.”

More information can be found online.

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