Resources for a time like this

  • Published
  • By Lisa Delgado
  • 439th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

We are in uncharted territory with countless numbers of people are facing illness, job loss, losing childcare, homeschooling and countless other changes most never considered possible.  This is a time to reach out when you need help and give help where you can.  Something as simple as offering a smile or a supportive text to someone can be incredibly helpful.  Don’t underestimate the value of kindness and consideration.  

If you find yourself navigating some of the available services below, please prepare to be patient as you will encounter many people in similar circumstances trying to access resources as well.

Please remember that we will get through this time, and as a Westover member you are not in this alone!  Together we can face challenges and solve problems! 

Basic needs:

Each community has a social services clearinghouse via calling “211”. Through 211, you can receive contact information for resources like food banks, job search resources like donated suits, rides to appointments if you do not have transportation, Veteran’s organizations, shelter and other basic social services needs.

Each community/county has a Department of Social Services for information on local resources, like food assistance, to help provide basic needs.  Most organizations are operating under appointments during pandemic conditions. Internet search Department of Social Services (town, state).

Unemployment Benefits.  Your state Department of Labor has online filing access via (State) Department of Labor Unemployment.  Unemployment benefits are benefits you pay into as a deduction from each paycheck you have ever earned.  Some people are reluctant to file for unemployment; unemployment benefits are a benefit for unexpected times like this.  These systems are being inundated with claims so be patient - practice deep breathing, pet the dog, take your time - this process is painful, but it will be worth it to get some relief if you have lost your job.  The sooner you work through the application process the sooner you will begin receiving your benefits.  Collect the information requested (which will be listed on the site) in advance to ease the application process once you get on.  Try accessing the site during non-peak hours.

Disability Insurance.  There are a few different types of disability insurance.  Some people have private short or long term disability insurance.  Disability insurance provides cash payments when an illness or injury limit your ability to work.  If you or a loved one have purchased a private disability policy and are ill with COVID-19 or other illnesses please contact the company you purchased your policy from for eligibility and application information. 

The Federal Social Security Administration ( is administering benefits and new applications during pandemic conditions.  Appointments are remote and physical offices are closed during pandemic conditions. provides contact information for your location.  Generally speaking, eligibility is based on medical conditions that limit your ability to continue to work. You must have a work history with paycheck contributions to social security to be eligible for Federal Social Security Disability benefits.  Generally, this application process requires illness documentation and can take a bit of time to complete.  There are a few types of supplemental social security benefits you may be eligible for if a long-term condition is limiting your ability to work. The counselors at the social security administration are experts who can guide you through this process (

USO Pioneer Valley USO 413-557-3289 is operating on next day appointments to allow for base access issues. for other locations.

Salvation Army offers a variety of social services needs from food pantry, veteran’s services, shelter, domestic violence, substance abuse, job training, for locations.  Springfield Mass 413-785-1921

Project New Hope offers social services to current and past military members and their families for pantry and baby related needs.  Worcester Mass 508-762-9738, Westfield Mass 413-315-3873 both sites are operating via appointment only during the pandemic conditions.  


Counseling and Support services

Military OneSource offers counseling and referral for mental health and financial counseling needs. Basic legal guidance is also available. Assistance with spouse employment and resources for supporting military children, tax assistance, PCS support and many other services.  1-800-342-9647; (online and chat).

Psychological Health Advocacy Program provides support to Guard and Reserve members and their families during deployment.  They also offer support and linkage with counseling and related community resources in the member/family’s community.  Call 866-417-0707 to leave a confidential message.  Services are provided via phone through regional offices.  

Department of Defense Employee Assistance Program for Defense Logistics Agency 866-580-9046/  Similar to Military OneSource, this program is designed for civilian DoD members.  They provide counseling and support services, basic legal and financial counseling services, supervisor and manager training resources for workplace interpersonal matters

Veterans Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255 press 1; for online chat; text 838255.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255.


The VA/DoD has developed several apps that are quite good!  Apps are accessed via app store or google play. Apps are free and don’t collect your private information.

Mental Health/sleep apps:

The Mindfulness Coach - information and instruction on mindfulness practices which help manage emotional responses

Life Armor - self-assessment, information and practices for managing emotional responses

Breathe 2 Relax - decrease stress and emotional responses through focused breathing exercises

T2mood tracker - self-assessment, information and practices for managing emotional responses

Parenting2go - information and support related to parenting strategies and managing parental stress   

You can also search via VA app store ( for a more complete list and description of available VA/DoD apps.


The Uniformed Services University/Consortium for Health and Military Performance maintains the Human Performance Resources Center Online at  This resource has timely, usable videos and articles on topics like effective communication in families, stress management, sleep and stress management, injury prevention, fitness, nutrition, mental health and total force fitness.  

Please check back for additional information and submissions on psychological health.