As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Facebook has partnered with The American Red Cross and the Military & Veterans Caregiver Network (MVCN) to distribute over 7,400 free communication devices to veterans, their caregiver, or their family members on behalf of the Veterans VA. This Facebook video calling device, called Portal, helps veterans connect with their family members, friends, and caregivers to improve social connectivity and reduce feelings of isolation.
Portal contains a smart camera, can function hands-free, enhances the sound of those who are speaking, and can minimize unwanted background noise. In addition to these features, Alexa is built into the device, which allows users to set a timer, listen to music, shop online, and more. Most importantly, through Portal, veterans and their caregivers may directly connect with contacts on Messenger and WhatsApp who may not be carrying the device. Learn more about Portal here.
For veterans, veterans' family members, caregivers, or individuals treated by a VA provider and are at-risk for suicide, you can request to receive a free Portal device here.