The Mission of TAPS
The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) offers compassionate care to all those grieving the loss of a loved one who died while serving in our Armed Forces or as a result of his or her service. Since 1994, TAPS has provided comfort and hope 24/7 through a national peer support network and connection to grief resources, all at no cost to surviving families and loved ones.
TAPS has assisted more than 90,000 surviving families, casualty officers and caregivers.
TAPS provides a variety of programs to survivors nation and worldwide. Our National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp has been held annually in Washington, D.C., over Memorial Day weekend since 1994. TAPS also conducts regional survivor seminars for adults and youth programs at locations across the country, as well as retreats and expeditions around the world. Staff can get you connected to counseling in your community and help navigate benefits and resources.
If you are grieving the loss of a fallen service member, or if you know someone who can use our support, the TAPS 24/7 National Military Survivor Helpline is always available toll-free with loving support and resources at 800-959-TAPS (8277).
If you are here because our mission to care for the families of America’s fallen heroes speaks to you as well, we welcome you to connect with us about giving, volunteering, professional engagement or careers.
TAPS is a national nonprofit 501(c)3 Veterans Service Organization and is not part of, or endorsed by, the Department of Defense.
TAPS Impact in 2018
In 2018, more than 6,000 newly bereaved loved ones came to us for care. That is 17 new survivors each day. TAPS provides an array of programs, services, and support for the families of the fallen. Each year, TAPS holds more than 200 programs that welcome and support thousands of participants. We answer more than 19,000 calls to our National Military Survivor Helpline and make over 28,000 survivors outreach calls each year. We share our expertise, conducting nearly 200 training session on grief trauma and suicide postvention for military commands and other professionals across America around the world. Our staff members are primarily survivors of military loss who have grown up in the TAPS family and who have now made it their profession to pay it forward. Learn more by downloading the TAPS Impact Report (PDF).
Peer Support for Bereaved Survivors
Peer support gives those who have had a unique experience or who are facing a personal challenge the framework to connect with another with that shared experience or challenge, either individually or in a group setting. By the simple act of knowing they are not alone in their experience and realizing that others have overcome the challenges they are facing, peers find validation, normalization, and ultimately a sense of hopefulness.
TAPS was founded on the principles of best practices in peer-based emotional support for bereaved survivors. Today, TAPS provides care to grieving military family members using these best practices. Renowned researcher Dr. Paul Bartone has documented the impact of this work in a landmark new systematic review of evidence and best practices in peer-based support. This report highlights eight ground rules for successful programs that can be benchmarked by all those working in peer-based programs.