News | Jan. 12, 2017

New DoD program provides support to service members, their families

By Senior Airman Tori Schultz 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

The Department of Defense launched a new call and outreach center called the “BeThere” Peer Assistance Line, which offers confidential peer support to active duty service members, National Guardsmen, reservists and family members through 24/7 chat, phone and text.

The center, launched in October, is staffed by veteran service members and family members of veterans who aim to provide support for everyday problem-solving in career and general life challenges.

Whether it be stressors from deployments, frequent relocations, or just everyday life, the “BeThere” professionals are trained to provide the support and assistance needed.

According to the “BeThere” website, the peer-to-peer program provides emotional support, problem solving strategies, resources, referrals and works with callers in a crisis to stabilize the situation before taking appropriate action. All members who contact the outreach center will receive a follow up to ensure appropriate services were provided.

The new program also allows a caller to choose the peer specialist they would like to speak with based on a number of qualities, including service experience, veteran or spouse, and male or female.

In addition to providing peer support, the center also provides resources and a frequently asked questions section through their website for possible issues that can effect service members and their families.

“We are honored to support our service members and their families as they get connected to needed resources through the support of those who have also served our country,” said Wendy Lakso, the Defense Suicide Prevention Office’s director for outreach and education. “This new initiative recognizes the unique challenges faced within the military community, promotes awareness, reduces the stigma and provides solutions for breaking through barriers when it comes to seeking help.”

For more information please visit the “BeThere” website:, call 844-357-PEER (7337) or text 480-360-6188.

Note: for individuals seeking urgent assistance, please contact the Military Crisis Line:, 1-800-273-8255 or text 838255.