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Depression

Depression is a serious illness, but this common mental health problem is also highly treatable. Find out how to access depression health services through VA.

Are you in crisis? You have options.

What services does VA provide for depression?

We offer treatments such as:

  • Medicine proven to help treat depression, anxiety, sleep issues, and other related problems
  • Psychotherapy (also called “talk therapy”) to help treat depression. These sessions may include learning new behaviors (like exercise and relaxation), help resolving relationship problems, and more.

See our Guide to VA Mental Health Services.

How do I access VA services for depression?

The VA health care program covers depression health services. To access these services, first apply for VA health care. Apply for health care.

Once you’ve signed up:

  • If you have a VA primary care provider, talk to them about your concerns. Your provider can help you figure out if you have depression—and can offer treatment and support as needed.
  • If you don’t have a VA primary care provider or have never been seen in a VA hospital or clinic:

What if I don’t have VA health benefits?

You may still be able to get care:

  • If you’ve served in a combat zone, get free private counseling, alcohol and drug assessment, and other support at one of our 300 community Vet Centers. Find a Vet Center near you.
  • If you’re homeless or at risk of becoming homeless:
    • Visit our website to learn about VA programs for Veterans who are homeless. Learn about our homelessness programs.
    • Contact the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 877-4AID-VET (877-424-3838) anytime day or night. A trained VA counselor will offer information about VA homeless programs, health care, and other services in your area. The call is free and confidential (private).
    • Call or visit your local VA Community Resource and Referral Center. Even if you don’t qualify for VA health care, our staff can help you find non-VA resources you may qualify for in your community. Find your local Community Resource and Referral Center.

Where can I find more information and support?

  • Go to the VA website for information about depression and the treatment and support we offer. Visit our Depression website.
  • Visit our Self-Help Resources guide to get links to books, web resources, and mobile applications that have been reviewed and recommended by VA experts. Get self-help resources.
  • Go to our Make the Connection website to get resources and watch stories of Veterans who’ve overcome depression and other mental health challenges. Visit Make the Connection.
  • Call the VA general information hotline at 800-827-1000.

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