9 Best Charities That Support Veterans’ Mental Health (Complete 2022 List)

9 Best Charities That Support Veterans’ Mental Health (Complete 2022 List)

By
Dennis Kamprad

Read Time:16 Minutes

Follow
this site

follow follow

Impactful Ninja is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more Learn more .

Affiliate Disclosure

Hey fellow impactful ninja ?

You may have noticed that Impactful Ninja is all about providing helpful information to make a positive impact on the world and society. And that we love to link back to where we found all the information for each of our posts.

  • Most of these links are informational-based for you to check out their primary sources with one click.

  • But some of these links are so-called "affiliate links" to products that we recommend.

Why do we add these product links?

First and foremost, because we believe that they add value to you. For example, when we wrote a post about the environmental impact of long showers, we came across an EPA recommendation to use WaterSense showerheads. So we linked to where you can find them. Or, for many of our posts, we also link to our favorite books on that topic so that you can get a much more holistic overview than one single blog post could provide.

And when there is an affiliate program for these products, we sign up for it. For example, as Amazon Associates, we earn from qualifying purchases.

What do these affiliate links mean for you?
  1. First, and most importantly, we still only recommend products that we believe add value for you.

  2. When you buy something through one of our affiliate links, we may earn a small commission - but at no additional costs to you.

  3. And when you buy something through a link that is not an affiliate link, we won’t receive any commission but we’ll still be happy to have helped you.

What do these affiliate links mean for us?
  1. When we find products that we believe add value to you and the seller has an affiliate program, we sign up for it.

  2. When you buy something through one of our affiliate links, we may earn a small commission (at no extra costs to you).

  3. And at this point in time, all money is reinvested in sharing the most helpful content with you. This includes all operating costs for running this site and the content creation itself.

What does this mean for me personally?

You may have noticed by the way Impactful Ninja is operated that money is not the driving factor behind it. It is a passion project of mine and I love to share helpful information with you to make a positive impact on the world and society. However, it's a project in that I invest a lot of time and also quite some money.

Eventually, my dream is to one day turn this passion project into my full-time job and provide even more helpful information. But that's still a long time to go.

Stay impactful,

Veterans are susceptible to numerous mental health problems such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety. In fact, one in four active duty members shows signs and symptoms of mental health conditions. These conditions make it very difficult to transition back into civilian life as they can impact relationships, careers, and other aspects of everyday life. Fortunately, many charities are working to improve the mental health of veterans. So we had to ask: What are the best charities that support veterans’ mental health?

The best charities that support veterans’ mental health are the Wounded Warrior Project and the Headstrong Project. Other charities such as the Cohen Veterans Network and Give an Hour offer direct mental health services to vulnerable veterans. 

Whether you want to support direct clinical services for veterans, provide access to crisis hotlines, or give support through service animals, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities that support veterans’ mental health are all about, how they work, and what your best way would be to make a contribution.

Here’s What All the Best Charities That Support Veterans’ Mental Health Have in Common

The charities on this list were chosen based on their mission, impact and transparency ratings, and achievements. They operate across the US and Great Britain. And they all share the same goal of improving and supporting veterans who have been negatively impacted by their military service. 

Some of these charities support veterans’ mental health by providing evidence-based treatments. Others provide community support from peers who have been through similar experiences. However, they all have the same focus of improving veterans’ mental health. 

These Are the 9 Best Charities That Support Veterans’ Mental Health

Below are our favorite charities that support veterans’ mental health:

  • Wounded Warrior Project
  • Headstrong Project
  • Combat Stress
  • Cohen Veterans Network
  • National Veterans Foundation
  • Give an Hour
  • K9s For Warriors
  • The Battle Within
  • PTSD Foundation of America

(At the end of this article we’ll also share our six-step approach on how you can select the best charity to support.)

Wounded Warrior Project: Mental Health Services for Wounded Veterans

The Wounded Warrior Project was founded in 2003 by a group of veterans to help wounded servicemen and women. Today, they offer vital services to wounded veterans across the US,  including mental health services. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: Charity Navigator gives the Wounded Warrior Project a 3-star rating. GuideStar gives them the platinum seal of transparency. 

“Veterans and service members who incurred a physical or mental injury, illness, or wound while serving in the military on or after September 11, 2001. You are our focus. You are our mission.”

Wounded Warrior Project

What they do: The Wounded Warrior Project provides free mental health services to veterans and their families. For example, their Warrior Care Network offers intensive outpatient PTSD treatment through four medical centers in the US. They also provide accommodation and financial aid for veterans while undergoing treatment. Furthermore, their Project Odyssey is a 12 week group adventure-based program that provides veterans with the chance to develop coping skills and improve their mental health. In addition, their WWP Talk program provides weekly 20 minute telephone conversations to help veterans create and maintain their own individualized growth plans, as well as providing access to additional mental health resources. 

What they’ve achieved: Today, the Wounded Warrior Project directly serves over 200,000 veterans. For example, in 2021, they provided over 43,900 hours of PTSD treatment and invested over $77 million to support the mental health of veterans and their families. In the same year, the charity’s volunteers provided 190,900 hours of in-home care to the most severely injured veterans and engaged more than 8,600 veterans in their support events to help families connect and avoid isolation. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to the Wounded Warrior Project on their website. You can also support the charity by hosting a fundraiser or by participating in their 5k run awareness event.

Headstrong Project: Evidenced-Based, Trauma-Focused Treatment

The Headstrong Project was founded in 2012 by Zach Iscol, Al Rabil, and Dave Petrucco to provide mental health services to military personnel and veterans. Today, they provide these services to all veterans free of charge, regardless of discharge status or military branch. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: GuideStar gives the Headstrong Project the platinum seal of transparency. 

“Headstrong commits to support those who bravely served their country, regardless of service era or discharge status, and battle daily with the impact of trauma.”

Headstrong Project

What they do: The Headstrong Project supports vulnerable veterans by providing free therapy-based mental health services. Firstly, veterans call the Veteran Crisis Line to connect with an intake specialist who then matches them with a therapist. An individualized action plan is then created by the therapist based on an individual’s unique needs. All their therapists and clinicians are trained in at least one evidenced-based treatment of PTSD and they all have extensive experience in treating military personnel and veterans. 

What they’ve achieved: Today, the Headstrong Project treats an average of 1400 veterans every month. Furthermore, 90% of the veterans who participate in their programs report an improved quality of life. For example, 7 out of 10 of their clients report a decrease in suicidal thoughts and 8 out of 10 report improvements in their relationships. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to the Headstrong Project on their website. You can also support them by buying apparel through their online store.

Combat Stress: Mental Health Support for Veterans

Combat Stress was founded in 1919 by a group of philanthropists who believed that soldiers affected by “shell shock” could be rehabilitated. Today, the charity provides mental health services to all veterans after their involvement in conflict.

Their impact and transparency ratings: According to their financial report, Combat Stress uses 84% of all donations for charitable activities. 

“Our mission is to provide support and treatment to veterans with complex mental health problems to help them tackle the past and take on the future.”

Combat Stress

What they do: Combat Stress runs a toll-free helpline, textline, and email service for veterans to contact for mental health advice. They also have residential and outpatient treatment programs so veterans can stay at the charity’s treatment hubs to receive inpatient mental health treatment or get help on an outpatient basis. In addition, they utilize peer support groups for veterans to build connections with other people who understand the intricacies of their experiences. For further mental health assistance for veterans, they also offer online self help guides for topics such as PTSD, anger, grief and depression.

What they’ve achieved: Today, Combat Stress supports vulnerable veterans through their six mental health treatment hubs. For example, in 2021, they helped nearly 14,000 veterans through their services. In addition, they assisted 8,877 veterans through their help line and 1,334 veterans participated in outpatient and residential treatment programs. In the same year, they also supported the mental health of 3,614 veterans with their online self help guides. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to combat stress via their website. You can also support the charity by volunteering your time or by organizing your own community fundraiser.

Cohen Veterans Network: High Quality Mental Health Care

Cohen Veterans Network was founded in 2016 by Steven Cohen to improve the mental health of returning veterans, after he was inspired by his son’s service in the US Marine Corps. Today, the charity offers mental health services for veterans in clinics across the US. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: GuideStar gives the Cohen Veterans Network the platinum seal of transparency. 

“Our vision is to ensure that every veteran, active duty service member, and family member is able to obtain access to high-quality care that enables them to lead fulfilling and productive lives.”

Cohen Veterans Network

What they do: The Cohen Veterans Network provides mental health services to veterans and their families through clinics located across the country. They also work with most major insurance companies to provide free care for those who do not have insurance or are otherwise unable to pay. Their clinics provide a wide array of evidence-based treatments for a variety of mental health conditions. In addition, they offer telehealth services for those who are unable to go to clinics.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, the Cohen Veterans Network has treated over 27,000 veterans and their loved ones for mental health conditions. Today, they run 21 clinics across the US and partner with 14 community based organizations to expand their network of care. Furthermore, 94% of their patients reported that they received their first appointment as soon as they wanted it.

Ways to contribute: You can donate to the Cohen Veterans Network on their website. You can also keep up with their latest news and projects by following them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

National Veterans Foundation: Vet-To-Vet Phone Hotline

The National Veterans Foundation was founded in 1985 by ​​Floyd “Shad” Meshad to help veterans and their families with mental health difficulties. Today, they provide vet-to-vet style assistance for all veterans facing crisis. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: Charity Navigator gives the National Veterans Foundation a 4-star rating. 

“The National Veterans Foundation’s mission is to serve the crisis management, information and referral needs of all U.S. Veterans and their families…”

National Veterans Foundation

What they do: The National Veterans Foundation provides assistance for veterans experiencing crises, especially mental health crises, in a vet-to-vet model through their Lifeline for Vets. Their trained veteran counselors assist callers by connecting them with local or national mental health resources. They also offer training for facilities providing services to veterans, through trauma-informed care. This reduces the chances of re-traumatizing while providing care. In addition, they offer training specifically for people working with PTSD sufferers. 

What they’ve achieved: Since their inception, the National Veterans Foundation’s Lifeline for Vets has received over half a million calls to help with crises. Today, they take about 10,000 calls every year to support the mental health of veterans after service, including those with PTSD, anxiety, and depression. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to the National Veterans Foundation via their website. You can also donate your vehicle or support them through Amazon Smile.

Give An Hour: Pro Bono Mental Health Services

Give an Hour was founded in 2005 by Barbara Van Dahlen to provide mental health services to active US military troops. Today, they provide mental health services to a range of servicemen and women, including veterans. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: Charity Navigator gives Give An Hour a 4-star rating, and GuideStar gives them the platinum seal of transparency. 

“We create resilient communities by improving mental health and emotional wellbeing, one hour at a time.”

Give an Hour

What they do: Give an Hour provides free mental health services for veterans, regardless of discharge status, branch, or length of time served, by matching them with a mental health professional. They also match veterans to alternative providers who offer services such as acupuncture and yoga to further support mental health. In addition, the charity offers training and workshops on topics such as trauma informed care, self care, and boundaries, to organizations seeking to better support the emotional needs of their clients and employees. 

What they’ve achieved: Since their inception, Give an Hour has provided 373,000 hours of mental health services and now has over 4,000 active providers, with providers in every state. For example, in 2022, they received a grant to assist an additional 323 veterans and provide military-focused education to 100 mental health providers in their network. In 2015, the charity also launched their Campaign to Change Direction which taught over 72 million people to notice the five signs of emotional suffering.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Give an Hour on their website. If you are a mental health provider, you can also provide pro bono services

K9s For Warriors: Service Dogs for Veterans

K9s For Warriors was founded in 2011 by Shari Duval after her son came home from Iraq with PTSD. She noticed how having a dog helped his overall mental health in ways that doctors were unable to. Today, they train shelter dogs to become service dogs for combat veterans returning from service with PTSD.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Charity Navigator gives K9s For Warriors a 4-star rating, and GuideStar gives them the platinum seal of transparency. 

“K9s For Warriors is the nation’s largest veteran service organization focused on providing highly trained Service Dogs to Warriors. Our program is focused on mitigating the debilitating symptoms of service-connected traumas.”

K9s For Warriors

What they do: K9s For Warriors matches veterans with a trained service dog to support their mental health journey. Veterans fill out an application and undergo a series of interviews so trained staff can better understand the veteran’s disability, family, and personality. When matched with a service dog, both the veteran and the dog spend three weeks on the charity’s campus to build a bond and receive further, personalized training. In addition, they research the positive impact of service dogs for veterans in order to shape public policy to prevent veteran suicide. 

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, K9s For Warriors has matched over 700 service dogs with veterans suffering from mental health conditions. 82% of veterans who participated in their programs reported a decline in suicidal thoughts, and 92% reported a reduction or elimination of prescription medications. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate to K9s For Warriors via their website. You can also donate a puppy or a dog as well as sponsor a dog to go through service training. 

The Battle Within: Journey of Healing

The Battle Within was founded in 2018 by a group of over 100 veterans, first responders, and community members to help returning veterans heal from PTSD. Today, they provide mental health services to veterans through specialized retreats and education classes.

Their impact and transparency ratings: GuideStar gives The Battle Within the platinum seal of transparency. 

“Each warrior is offered the opportunity to discover their traumatic injuries, begin to face those burdens head on, and develop a toolset of holistic evidence-based skills along with a community of support to begin their journey of healing.”

The Battle Within

What they do: The Battle Within offers The Revenant Journey, in which veterans and first responders participate in a free 5-day mental health program. During the 5 days, participants focus on physical improvement through healthy eating and mindful exercises, mental improvement through techniques such as mindfulness and meditation, and community building with others who have been through similar experiences. Upon finishing the program, veterans gain access to the alumni center which provides continuing education and further support. 

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, the Battle Within has treated 196 veterans and first responders through their Revenant Journey retreat program. Furthermore, over 80,000 hours have been volunteered by peer support mentors to help other veterans and first responders with mental health conditions. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to The Battle Within on their website. You can also purchase merchandise from their online store

PTSD Foundation of America: Residential Treatment Program for Veterans

The PTSD Foundation of America was founded in 2007 by Gene Birdwell to reduce the number of veteran suicides caused by PTSD. Today they provide mental health services specifically for combat veterans with PTSD. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: Charity Navigator gives the PTSD Foundation of America a score of 91 out of 100 for finance and accountability, and GuideStar gives them the silver seal of transparency. 

“The Mission of the PTSD Foundation of America is to bring hope and healing to Combat Veterans and their families suffering from the effects of combat-related Post Traumatic Stress.”

PTSD Foundation of America

What they do: The PTSD Foundation of America offers Camp Hope, which is a residential treatment program for PTSD sufferers that lasts a minimum of six months. While there, veterans participate in sessions that include anger management, coping strategies, and behavioral modification. The charity also offers job training for veterans in order to support community reintegration. In addition, the PTSD Foundation of America offers peer support groups, both in person and online, for those who are unable to complete a residential program, they  

What they’ve achieved: Since their inception, the PTSD Foundation of America has helped over 1,200 veterans through their Camp Hope residential program. Furthermore, they support approximately 450 veterans with their weekly peer support groups. For example, in 2019, the charity’s volunteers logged 6,544 hours to help vulnerable veterans achieve their mental health goals and successfully reintegrate back into society.    

Ways to contribute: You can donate to the PTSD Foundation of America on their website. You can also volunteer at your local chapter or at Camp Hope. 

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities that support veterans’ mental health. However, you may have a particular charity you want to support. Let’s look at what you can do to ensure your contribution has the most significant impact.

  • Check out the charity website. Charities that are worthy of your donations are transparent in their mission and their figures. Familiarize yourself with their history, mission, and values. Their website usually is the best place to start.
  • Identify the charity’s mission. Without a goal, the charity is likely to fail. If the charity’s mission isn’t clear, it’s probably worth looking for a charity that does have a clear mission. 
  • Check if the charity has measurable goals. An effective charity has clear goals. You want to know your donation will help the charity reach its goals. But if it doesn’t have targets, it’s likely to fail or squander your gift. The charity should be able to account for its spending and supply evidence of the work they do.
  • Assess the successes or goals the charity has achieved. You wouldn’t invest in a business if it kept missing its targets. In the same way, charities are like this too. If no one is assessing a charity’s progress in reaching its targets, the chances are they’re not making a substantial positive change.
  • Check the charity’s financials and stats. Trustworthy organizations will publish financial statements and reports each year. Some might be exempt from having to do so, but they should be able to provide them to public members who are interested in donating.
  • Locate sources who work with or benefit from the charity. Word of mouth and first-hand experience of a charity’s work lets you know the charity’s quality. If you’re able to do so, check out the charity for yourself or speak to someone familiar with it. This way, your donation will go to the right place. 

How Can You Best Support These Charities?

After you’ve made your decision, it’s time for you to decide on how you’d like to help the charities you’ve chosen. Check how you can help – each charity runs specific programs that have unique aims. Find out what the aim of such programs is and whether they are right for you. 

Here are a few ways you can help your chosen charity:

  • Donate money. You can find donation pages on the website of most charities. Your donation can be a one-time payment, or you can set it to be deducted regularly at different intervals. You can mostly pay via credit card, but some charities also take PayPal or Bitcoin payments.
  • Buy their official merchandise. The charities can also raise money by selling merchandise. So, you can support them by buying the mugs, shirts, caps, pens, pencils, and any other such items they may be selling. Ideally, you should buy as much as you can to share and spread the word about the charity’s activities.
  • Donate a percentage of your online purchases. If you bought anything on sites like Amazon lately, you’d find a prompt asking you to donate to your favorite charities through their Amazon Smile program. You can set this up so that your chosen charities will get a fraction of your online purchases.
  • Engage in volunteer work. As you’ve seen from our descriptions above, some charities engage in a lot of local and grassroots programs. You can help by taking on and organizing the program in your local area.
  • Help their fundraising efforts. You can spread the word about the charity in your workplace, school, church, etc., and hold creative fundraising drives on social media or offline within your small circles.
  • Share their stories. Most charities have compelling stories that you can share with your audience to attract more people to the cause.

Final Thoughts

Now it is up to you to select the charity that resonates most with you. And whichever charity you end up choosing and contributing to, we are sure that they will immensely appreciate your support. Hopefully, the information within this article has made this selection process a bit easier for you to support charities dedicated to supporting veterans’ mental health – based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,



PS: Finally, I want to leave you with a thought-provoking TED talk from Dan Pallotta, a leading philanthropic activist and fundraiser, about what is wrong with the way we think about charities – and what we can do about it:

Sources

Photo of author

Dennis Kamprad

Dennis is the founder of Impactful Ninja and passionate about enabling you to make a positive impact on the world & society. He started his professional career as a Sustainability Consultant and has worked on several social projects around the world. Outside of work, he is a passionate salsa dancer, fast runner, and multiple Ironman finisher.

Did you know that the internet is a huge polluter of the environment? But fortunately not this site. This site is powered by renewable energy and all hosting-related CO2 emissions are offset by three times as many renewable energy certificates. Find out all about it here.

Three Related Posts

One Unrelated Post