News Releases – Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs

VA, Facebook and American Red Cross provide Portal video calling devices to Veterans, caregivers and families

April 15, 2020, 11:59:00 PM

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) began making Portal from Facebook devices available, April 15, to Veterans and their caregivers and families, to reduce isolation and improve social connectedness at home.

In support of Veterans’ mental health and social connection, VA partnered with Facebook to provide more than 7,400 devices, while the American Red Cross Military Veteran Caregiver Network will store and ship them in pairs to qualifying Veterans, along with their caregivers or families.

The partnership was initiated by the PREVENTS office which is charged with supporting the Executive Order task force responsible for the development and implementation of the President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide.

“Veterans, families and caregivers will benefit through an increased support system,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “Our goal is for Veterans to feel less isolated through more communication. We believe this technology will help Veterans who might otherwise be unreachable.”

Those participating in REACH-VET, one of VA’s Caregiver Support Programs (General Caregiver Support Services or Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers) or in any of VA’s Geriatric and Extended Care Services programs may qualify to receive a free Portal device.

Learn more about PREVENTS and VA’s mental health and suicide prevention efforts.

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