April 15, 2020

Chairman Takano Interviews APA Clinical Psychologist – Discusses Resources to Mitigate Stress, Anxiety Among Veterans Throughout the Pandemic

Press Contact

Jenni Geurink (202-225-9756)

Miguel R. Salazar

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) spoke with Dr. Lynn Bufka, the Associate Executive Director of Practice Research and Policy at the American Psychological Association, to learn how veterans can mentally and physically take care of themselves and support their communities and at-risk veterans throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As the spread and uncertainty of the pandemic has increased stress and anxiety for many veterans, Dr. Bufka offers resources and tips to mitigate these feelings—see their full conversation here.

MT - APA Call

Watch the full conversation here

“In the military there is such a thing as buddy checks, when you check in on your fellow servicemembers. Long before COVID-19 hit our country, we have encouraged veterans to do regular buddy checks with other veterans to combat loneliness, isolation and offer peer support,” said Chairman Takano. “Social distancing may present challenges, but veterans have experience persisting and thriving under difficult conditions --often not by choice. Veterans understand the meaning of service—because of that they have a special role to play as leaders among their neighbors by encouraging physical distancing and fostering social connectedness during this crisis. I like to say we have a moral duty to be optimistic, and in these times it’s even more important that we check on each other, lift each other up, and be positive and  optimistic.”


“We need to look at our current situation not as a threat but as a challenge to be met. Our past experiences have given us flexibility and resilience to meet what's ahead but that doesn't mean we have to go it alone.” said Dr. Bufka. “As any veteran knows, the tough experiences prepare us for our future but we have a whole team backing us up to meet those challenges. That is true now as we dig deep for our personal resources to meet the current challenge and as we support our 'team' - whether that's family, servicemembers, co-workers, our community or our country- to do what is needed to attain better outcomes for all.”


If you or a veteran you know are struggling, contact the Veteran Crisis Line 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255 and select option 1, or text 838255. For more resources on how veterans can take care of their mental health throughout the pandemic, visit the Committee’s COVID-19 resource page.