Veterans Employment Toolkit
Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Providers
Alert! This section is for EAP providers and does not include access to or information about local EAP programs for Veteran employees seeking services. If you are seeking assistance through an EAP, please contact your local Human Resources Office.
Welcome to the EAP section of the Veterans Employment Toolkit. As an EAP provider you play an important role in helping service members and Veterans transition and succeed in the civilian workplace. Thank you for your commitment to serving those who served! In this section you will find resources and materials for clinicians working with members of the National Guard or Reserve and Veterans who are transitioning to civilian work environments. Select a tab below for more information and helpful tools.
Want to learn more about how to support Veterans in the workplace?
PsychArmor is a national non-profit that provides free education to those who serve and support Veterans. They offer free online courses for providers interacting with Veterans on topics such as PTSD, pain, substance abuse, suicide, and other mental health related topics.
Looking for military cultural competence resources for EAP providers?
Many EAP clinicians report they would benefit from more information on how to support Veterans in the workplace (Aetna Survey, 2012). It is important to remember that Veterans are in many ways just like other employees. They may seek EAP services for a variety of work-related and personal problems, and they require the same empathy and regard for their unique experience as their civilian peers. While each Veteran’s experience is different, learning about military culture can help you to build rapport, ask important questions, and provide culturally competent care.
The first step is to identify whether your client has served in the military by screening for military service. A basic military history screen can be included in the intake process. The VA’s Community Provider Toolkit offers an overview on how to ask about military experience.
For a more comprehensive understanding of military culture, terminology, and demographics visit this page on the Community Provider Toolkit. On this page you can complete a self-assessment concerning your own understanding of military culture as well as explore such topics as military organization and roles, military culture and spiritual health, and understanding the context of military culture. For supervisors and managers, share the Veterans Employment Toolkit pages in the “Understanding the Military Experience” as they provide useful information on military structure, culture, and deployment designed to help employers better understand and support Veteran employees.
For additional information about using military cultural competence when counseling Veterans check out this article: "It’s Not all Guns and PTSD: Counseling with a Cultural Lens.* "
Want to learn more about common readjustment issues impacting Veterans in the workplace?
It is important to note that the majority of Veterans make a successful transition to civilian work and life. However, transitioning is a process that takes time, and can pose a variety of challenges for the transitioning service member and his or her family. By being aware of common challenges new Veterans face, as well as the strengths Veterans bring to the workplace, EAP clinicians can support both Veterans and their supervisors during the transition process.
Common readjustment challenges related to returning home include things like reconnecting with family, creating new routines, creating structure, and adjusting to a different pace of life. Common readjustment challenges in the workplace include adjusting to a different pace of work, adjusting to a work environment that may be more competitive and individualistic, and learning the nuances of language and of culture in the new workplace. To learn more about the military experience and deployment, check out our Military Deployment page and the Common Challenges During Readjustment to Civilian Life handout.
Want handouts to share with Veterans in the civilian workplace and their supervisors?
In collaboration with Aetna, the Department of Veterans Affairs is creating a series of handouts to assist Veterans and EAP providers with managing common workplace reintegration and adjustment challenges.
Interested in how to support Veterans with specific behavioral and mental health needs?
While most Veterans transition successfully to the workplace, just like their civilian counterparts, some Veterans will come to EAP for additional support for a broad range of behavioral and mental health issues. These issues are not unique to Veterans, but many of the resources below were developed specifically for Veterans and clinicians working with Veterans.
Smoking and Tobacco Use
Visit the Wellness and Smoking page on the Community Provider Toolkit for information on treatment and educational materials. Stay Quit Coach is a mobile app designed to assist with smoking cessation as an enhancement to face-to-face care with a health care provider.
Maketheconnection.net offers resources for Veterans facing a variety of challenges, including stress and anxiety. The VA website gives an overview of different anxiety disorders, VA programs and services, treatments, fact sheets and resources.
The Community Provider Toolkit offers information on substance use and Veterans. For an overview that includes information on treatment, educational materials, and screening tools, visit this page.
The Department of Veterans Affairs website has a mental health section that includes articles, fact sheets, and other resources for depression and other common mental health concerns Veterans face. Maketheconnection.net offer comprehensive information on Veterans with depression. NAMI offers information on depression and the Center for Deployment Psychology offers useful information including treatment and resources related to depression.
The Veterans Crisis Line can be reached 24 hours a day; call or text 1-800-273-8255 (Press 1). They also offer support on their website via chat. You can also look for resources on the Community Provider Toolkit site. This page includes suicide risk assessment, safety planning, educational materials, specialized training and other resources.
Intimate Partner Violence
Resources for Veterans faced with intimate partner violence (IPV) can be found on the VA website and the National Center for PTSD. These links take you directly to useful information including definitions of IPV, prevalence of IPV in Veterans, and important information about staying safe and getting help.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD can occur after someone experiences a trauma, like an automobile accident, natural disaster, or military combat. Effective treatments for PTSD are available. To learn more about PTSD and treatment options visit the the National Center for PTSD website.
You can also learn about PTSD from VA clinicians and Veterans on the AboutFace website. This website features a video gallery of Veterans talking about living with PTSD and how treatment turned their lives around. It also includes informative videos by clinicians who have treated Veterans with PTSD.
The Community Provider Toolkit offers information that can be used in assessing and treating PTSD. The National Center for PTSD has a consultation program: PTSD Consultation Program, that is available to any provider who treats U.S. Veterans with PTSD. Expert clinicians provide free consultations about assessment, treatment, educational options, and other resources.
A behavioral health issue, such as symptoms related to PTSD, does not have to limit the employee’s performance. For information about accommodations, see the Challenges & How to Help section and scroll down to the “Disabilities” section. For information on your role as a mental health provider in requests for reasonable accommodation at work see the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).*
Connecting with the VA
Veterans may be eligible for services through the VA. For guidance on eligibility and referral, see the Connecting with the VA section of the Community Provider Toolkit. Also see the Guide to VA Mental Health Services for Veterans & Families.
Additional Resources for EAPs Working with Veterans
Read leading practice recommendations* developed by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF) and created for companies looking to utilize EAPs in support of Veterans.
Read an article* by a Veteran and masters student in clinical mental health counseling discussing the transition from military to civilian life.
Check out the list of do’s and don’ts for civilians when interacting with Veterans.
Interested in supporting women Veterans?
Veterans are a valued part of our workforce. Women are the fastest growing group of Veterans. Women Veterans returning from deployment need to find jobs and be successful in at work. In 2013, there were 2.2 million female Veterans in the workplace.
Success at work
Women Veterans bring a wide range of skills and experience to the workplace. Like all of us, women Veterans can benefit from resources to success at work. The good news is, Veteran resources are growing. And many are tailored to meet the needs of women.
Did you know only 35 percent of female Veterans are signed up for benefits through VA? Perhaps they don’t know whether they are eligible or how to enroll. Maybe they have chosen to get services outside of the VA. By knowing what’s offered, you can help guide women Veterans to available resources.
- Make the Connection. This site has a number of features. You can view videos of women and men Veterans sharing their stories. And learn how they used VA services.
- Community Provider Toolkit. Take a mini-clinic on services for women Veterans. Or explore other materials, like treatment and healthcare information…
- Women Veterans Hotline. Find answers about benefits or support in a crisis. Trained staff members are available to women Veterans, their families and caregivers. Call 1-855-VA-WOMEN (1-855-829-6636) or go to their site to speak with someone.
- Center for Women Veterans. Find support, news and health resources for female Veterans.
- Women Veterans of America National*. A voice for women who have and are currently serving in the Armed Forces..
- Women Veterans Rock. This group advocates for women Veterans. They offer support for work, school, health, housing and more.
- Women Veteran’s Health Care. Learn how the VA is responding to the needs of its fastest growing service group.
- National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. Learn how women Veterans can find housing support.