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What is Vet Help App™

VET Help App™ is a phone application catering to the needs of formerly incarcerated veterans. FREE understands the unique resources the veteran population needs,  therefore we created a free mobile phone application designed to improve the rate of success.

Transitioning from active-duty service or prison confinement to living in the community can be difficult, the Vet Help App Phone Program (VHAPP) provides support that aid in the successful and safe transition of veterans from incarceration back to their families and communities. The Vet Help App is a vital link which allows formerly incarcerated veterans, veterans in the treatment courts, and homeless veterans- especially those in crisis mode, to connect with counseling, mentors and community resources. 

View our media kit here

​Why Veterans Need Vet Help

The number of Americans behind bars has increased steadily and now includes more than 2.1 million men and women , of which 10% have reported prior service in the U.S. Armed Forces. Within the  state prison system, a majority (54%) of the veteran population served during wartime and 20% saw combat. In Federal prison, these numbers increased to two-thirds of veterans having served during wartime and 25% having saw combat.
Veterans are reported to struggle with the following dilemmas, which often lead to incarceration.

43% of veterans met DSM-IV criteria for alcohol dependence or abuse and drug abuse and the majority of veterans have also reported a recent mental health problem. Furthermore, research suggests a strong link between incarceration and homelessness, which is further aggravated by the high rates of substance abuse and mental illness within this population. The aforementioned factors are likely to result in recidivism without proper intervention. More than half (52%) of former state prisoners are back behind bars within three years after their release, either as a result of a parole violation or because they have committed a new crime.

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How Does Vet Help App™ Work?

Recovering addicts and alcoholics often can feel despondent over difficulties in transitioning to citizenship, such as finding employment, housing or other barriers. Upon pressing the Vet Help App™ button, they will have immediate access to a pool of on-call mentors that have been matched to meet the needs of the individual calling. All of our mentors have undergone a rigorous mentor-training course developed in conjunction with established veteran mentorship modules and long-serving veteran mentors as consultants and are available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, and 365 days per year. Mentors are available to assist that individual either via a person-to-person voice call or via text messaging. Additionally, Vet Help App™ users will have the ability to contact our 24-hour Vet Help App™ referral resource hotline.

Justice Involved Veterans

  • ​Estimates suggest that 10% of incarcerated persons in 2004 were veterans.
  • VA officially recognizes that veterans are arrested for a variety of offenses, some of which may be related to extended periods of battle readiness and combat exposure during multiple deployments, and to maladaptive coping with the return to civilian life.
  • VA’s Uniform Mental Health Services Package now calls not only for assistance for veterans re-entering the community from state and federal prisons, but also for outreach efforts to veterans who are interfacing with jails, courts, and law enforcement
  • Veterans appear to share the heightened risk for deaths due to injury by self or other (including suicide) that had previously been established for released inmate population.
  • View our Resources.