Learn more about TAPS and how you can get involved.
We launched this publication in November 2020 with a focus on how veterans are using medical cannabis to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). To complement the publication launch, Cannabis Science and Technology® and Cannabis Patient Care™ hosted a free Veterans Day webinar titled, “From Post-Traumatic Stress to Post-Traumatic Growth: How Medical Cannabis Is Helping Veterans with PTSD” in which we raised money for The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) (1). TAPS was recommended to us by a veteran and we continue to honor and respect that suggestion by highlighting their important work here in our annual issue dedicated to veterans.
What does TAPS stand for?
TAPS: It stands for Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.
Can you tell us a little bit about TAPS and its mission for the families of fallen military service members?
TAPS: The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is the national organization providing compassionate care for the families of America’s fallen military heroes. TAPS provides peer-based emotional support, grief and trauma resources, grief seminars for adults, "Good Grief Camps" for children, case work assistance, connections to community-based care, and a 24/7 resource and information helpline for all who have been affected by a military death. Services are provided free of charge. TAPS has offered support to more than 100,000 surviving family members of our fallen military since 1994.
What is the National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp?
TAPS: Since 1994, TAPS has hosted the Annual National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp. Surrounded by the monuments and memorials of our nation's capital, we are reminded that a grateful nation never forgets. Through the support and loving care of our TAPS family, we are reminded that we are part of that story.
Held during the Memorial Day weekend, this event connects surviving loved ones with peer mentors and grief professionals who can provide the support and assistance—administrative, health related, and emotional—that is necessary to regain control of their lives and move forward. TAPS also enlists help from trained professionals from fields as diverse as military chaplains, casualty officers, family readiness coordinators, and mental health professionals who offer their time, expertise, and knowledge. Surviving adults find a caring atmosphere where they are able to speak about their loved one and share their grief among those who have the shared experience of military loss. Whether new to grief or years beyond their loss, TAPS meets survivors where they are in their journey, normalizing their experience, delivering vital information, sharing coping tools, and identifying a long-term support network for them once they return home. Survivors gain a new ‘family’ to walk beside them as they adjust to their new life.
What other resources and programs does TAPS offer and take part in?
TAPS: We offer a lot of great services, please see Table I.
How can military service family members reach out to TAPS?
TAPS: TAPS.org or our 24/7 Helpline
For those interested in volunteering and working with the organization, what steps do you recommend they take to get involved?
TAPS: Please see the image provided later in this piece or check our website: https://www.taps.org/support.
Is there anything else you would like to comment on regarding TAPS work with military families and the organization as a whole?
TAPS: TAPS has operated, without interruption, for more than a quarter century. We are proud of our top ratings with charity watch groups and remain committed to fiscal integrity. Currently, 88-cents of every dollar donated to TAPS is invested directly into programs to help survivors, caregivers, battle buddies, and grief professionals.
TAPS receives no government funding. We rely on the generous support of those Americans who truly understand service and sacrifice. TAPS exceeds industry standards for financial accountability and out performs most charities. We are proud to have received many of the top nonprofit charity ratings available today. Our donors should be confident they are supporting an organization that is financially healthy, accountable, and transparent.
The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is the leading national organization providing compassionate care and survivor support services for the families of America’s fallen military heroes. Since 1994, TAPS has offered support to more than 100,000 survivors of fallen military in the form of peer-based emotional support, grief and trauma resources, grief seminars and retreats for adults, Good Grief Camps for children, casework assistance, connections to community-based care, online and in-person support groups and a 24/7 resource and information helpline for all who have been profoundly affected by a death of a military loved one. Services are provided free of charge. For more information go to TAPS.org or call the toll-free TAPS resource and information helpline at 1.800.959.TAPS (8277).