VA’s Virtual Care Options: Ensuring Uninterrupted Health Care During Winter Months

How VA’s Virtual Care Options Can Help Veterans Maintain Their Health and Well-being Throughout the Winter Season

As the winter season sets in, many individuals find themselves grappling with the challenges that accompany the colder months. From the reluctance to venture out in frigid weather to the difficulties of navigating icy and snowy conditions, winter can pose obstacles to maintaining one’s health and well-being. For millions, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) further exacerbates these challenges, triggering significant mood shifts. However, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a range of virtual care options to ensure uninterrupted health care during the winter months. These innovative solutions empower veterans to continue their health care journey, regardless of their location or the season.

Keep Your Appointments with VA Video Connect

The winter months often confine individuals to their homes or keep them on the move due to holiday travels. However, VA Video Connect, VA’s secure videoconferencing app, enables veterans to connect with their VA providers from anywhere. Whether at home or on the road, veterans can utilize telehealth services through their smartphones, tablets, laptops, or other internet-connected devices. This convenient option allows for video telehealth visits, addressing both physical health concerns and mental health needs, which can be particularly crucial during the winter months.

Practice Self-Care with VA Apps

For veterans who prefer self-guided learning or virtual coaching, VA offers a diverse range of apps tailored to individual needs. These apps include:

1. MOVE! Coach: Designed to assist individuals in shedding holiday pounds or improving overall health through exercise.

2. Annie for Veterans: A platform that sends automated text messages to help monitor health conditions or maintain exercise and healthy eating plans.

3. Insomnia Coach: Provides guided training and tips to improve sleep patterns disrupted by the shorter daylight hours of winter or any other reason.

4. Stay Quit Coach and VetChange: These apps offer support for veterans seeking healthier relationships with tobacco or alcohol, aiding in achieving New Year’s resolutions.

5. Mindfulness Coach: Offers valuable insights and techniques to cope with holiday stress and common stressors.

These self-care apps, along with others available through the VA App Store, empower veterans to enhance their physical and mental well-being throughout the winter months.

Handle Your Records and Requests Online

VA’s online patient portal, My HealtheVet, allows veterans to manage various aspects of their health care conveniently. From scheduling appointments and accessing health records to messaging VA providers and managing prescriptions, this platform ensures seamless access to necessary services. Additionally, veterans can have their prescriptions refilled and delivered to their doorstep, eliminating the need to venture out in inclement weather or while traveling. The VA: Health and Benefits app further streamlines the management of VA health care, benefits, and payments, providing a comprehensive mobile solution for veterans.

Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out

The winter season can amplify feelings of overwhelm, depression, loneliness, or isolation. To address these emotional challenges, veterans can reach out to the Veterans Crisis Line by calling 988 and pressing 1. Alternatively, they can seek support through text messaging at 838255 or engage in chat conversations. VA’s commitment to mental health care ensures that veterans have access to the support they need, regardless of the time of year.


As winter descends, the Department of Veterans Affairs remains dedicated to providing uninterrupted health care for veterans. Through virtual care options such as VA Video Connect, self-care apps, online portals, and crisis support services, veterans can navigate the winter months with confidence and maintain their physical and mental well-being. These innovative solutions empower veterans to overcome the challenges posed by the season, ensuring that their health care remains a priority throughout the year.

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