Create Your Lifeline
Confidential, private, invitation-only lifeline groups for the people you trust the most.
Existing Lifeline Users, please click button below to access the Community Page.
Online Private Groups
Veterans are trained to be self-reliant which can and does prevent many from asking for help, yet the only way to get help in times of difficulty is to ask for assistance. Because of this, asking for help can feel like an insurmountable challenge. However, sometimes even when help is sought many Veterans can come away feeling empty handed and upset. The cycle of reaching out and asking for help but not finding what you are looking for or not being able to access assistance can feel unbearable. It represents a dilemma: try to deal with what you are going through alone in ways that might negatively impact your health, well-being, and relationships; or reach out and risk disappointment. Although it may feel easy just to withdraw, there may be people in your life that you feel safe enough with to explore what you are going through. It could be a fellow veteran or a loving family member or friend. People who “get you”. There may also be services and organizations that can help. That’s where establishing Veteran Lifelines can aid in strengthening your relationships and in negotiating support in the ways that are best for you.
What is a Lifeline?
The Veteran Lifeline concept was created from real experiences between Purple Star volunteers and Veterans that were suffering from Post Traumatic Stress and drug and alcohol dependencies. Really, it is for any Veteran or family member faced with the unique challenges of military life, homecoming, and civilian transition. Withdrawing might be part of your coping strategy during hard times. It’s often marked by self-isolation when you feel overwhelmed by what you are facing and it’s impact on you emotionally and physically. You might shut off your phone, stop responding to emails, or otherwise avoid contact with others until you begin to feel better. Some call it ‘crawling into a cave’.
In those difficult moments, knowing you have the ability to connect with those you trust in your lifeline group can dramatically shorten the time you might spend triggered or in negative places. What’s important is that you can realize that what you are feeling will eventually begin to ease, moment by moment and day by day.
How Do Lifelines Work?
Setting Lifelines that you can depend on in times of trouble and whenever you need support is simple: 1. Focus on what is important to you in your life and think about the people you trust the most. These should be the person or persons you could depend on and allow to assist if you were in need of help. 2. When you are triggered into a negative state or otherwise affected by stress, depression or trauma, your Lifelines offer support and help you shift and stay grounded into a more resourceful place. Your Lifeline Agreement A Lifeline Agreement is a formal contract between you and your lifelines. You can establish things like:
- How you will reach out to your Lifelines (by phone, text and/or via your group) if you recognize you have been triggered in a negative way and you can sense a familiar feeling of momentum taking you in the wrong direction
- How information will be shared among your Lifelines: Do you want the Lifeline you contacted to notify others?
- Agreements within your Lifeline group on what they need to do to best help you if a triggering event has occurred
- How Lifelines can make sure you’re o.k.: If one of your your Lifeline group members leaves a voice message or email for you and they do not receive a reply from you within 24 – 48 hours, this may likely indicate you are isolating. In this instance, you can give key people permission to come by your home to see how you are. If no group member lives close to you, a backup plan with permission to a local person may be necessary