There are so many serving and so many who have served in the various branches of the US Military. We hope to assist anyone interested in finding the necessary supports they need to help all our serving military members, veterans, and their families.

It is wise to seek help. Mental health problems are medical conditions and just like every other medical condition the earlier you receive treatment the greater your chances for a quick recovery. Being well is your highest priority.

Branches of the Military and their Components:

  • AIR FORCE – Active Duty, Reserve, National Guard // Airforce is an “Airman”
  • ARMY – Active Duty, Reserve, National Guard (dual Federal/State mission) // Army is a “Soldier”
  • COAST GUARD – Active Duty, Reserve // Coast Guard is a “Coastie”
  • NAVY – Active Duty, Reserve. // Navy is a “Sailor”
  • MARINES – Active Duty, Reserve // Marine is a “Marine”

“Reserve” – Commitment is typically one weekend a month, two weeks a year


A Typical Deployment Cycle:

  • Readiness – Mandatory training, field exercises, drill, weekends, annual training, etc.
  • Pre-Deployment – Starts when Service member receives orders or notification for deployment/active duty
  • Deployment – Can include full-time, state-side training before overseas deployment
  • Post-Deployment – Return to mobilization site, medical and administrative processing for de-mobilization
  • Reintegration – Service member returns to their home

Military Culture is Unique

“Culture is the sum total of the learned behavior of a group of people that are generally considered to be the tradition of that people and are transmitted from generation to generation.”

  • There is an overarching culture present in the military: e.g. rank, understanding of authority
  • Each branch of the military also has a culture of its own: e.g. Marine Corps vs Air Force; combat arms vs support – MOS Military Occupational Specialty
  • Subcultures within the military…are often stronger than the overall [military] culture (Meyer, 2013, p.e848)

Understanding military culture is important as it protects against over-pathologizing their experiences and cultural competence by medical providers, services and/or support.

To learn more simply ask the service member/veteran or check out these websites:

Center for Deployment Psychology

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Talent Management System

Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury


Family Readiness Group

FRG is a command-sponsored organization of Family members, volunteers, soldiers and civilian employees associated with a unit. FRGs are established to provide activities and support to enhance the flow of information, increase the resiliency of unit soldiers and their families, provide practical tools for adjusting to military deployments and separations, and enhance the well-being and esprit de corps within the unit. The activities emphasized will vary depending on whether the unit is in a pre/post deployment, deployed, or in a training/sustainment period at home station.

Learn more about FRGs here.


Where to Get Help

24/7 Support for the Military Community

Military OneSource
Military OneSource Airforce
Military OneSource Army
Military OneSource Navy
Military OneSource Marines

Veteran Service Organizations:

All Active duty (Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force), National Guard, Reserve, Family members, and Coast Guard when activated under the Navy, are eligible for non-medical counseling.

Non-medical counseling services are available for individuals, couples, families, and children and can be delivered either face to face, by telephone or online through secure chat. The counselors help with coping with stress, family concerns, marital communication, dealing with family separations, parent/child communication, deployment and reunion, grief and loss, and finding community resources. The counselors are professionally licensed and knowledgeable about military life. The counseling is private, short term, available for up to 12 sessions per issue, and at no cost.

Contact Military One Source at www.militaryonesource.mil for free confidential counseling (up to 12 sessions).

Call U.S. toll free 1-800-342-9647
En espanol llame at 877-888-0727
TTY/TDD 866-607-6794
International collect 1-484-530-5908

U.S. Army Public Health Command http://phc.amedd.army.mil, 1-800-222-9698

Active –Duty Soldiers can contact their unit chaplain, unit mental health team, or primary medical provider.

Reserve and National Guard can contact Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Centers and Vet Centers that provide veterans with mental health services. Visit www.va.gov and look for the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Facilities Locator link under “Health Benefits and Services,” or go to www.va.gov/res.

VETERANS CENTERwww.vetcenter.va.gov, 1-877-927-8387
Vet Center services are provided at no cost to the Veteran or Family.

What is the Vet Center? Since 1979. The Vet Center program has been providing quality post-combat readjustment services to Veterans and Families. Vet Centers are located in the community and provide a broad range of services to assist in readjustment to civilian life. Veterans are welcomed by providing quality readjustment counseling in a caring manner. Vet Centers understand and appreciate Veterans’ war experiences while assisting them and their family toward a successful post-war adjustment in or near their community.

The Vet Center’s Purpose is to welcome home war veterans with honor by understanding and appreciating Veteran’s war experiences while assisting them and their family members toward a successful post-war adjustment in or near their community.

Eligibility:
Combat Theater – Any Veteran who served in a Designated Combat Zone and received a Campaign or Expeditionary Medal (Vietnam, Desert Storm, OEF, OIF, etc.)

Sexual Harassment/Assault – Veteran of any era who has experienced this trauma while on active duty

Bereavement – Family members of any service member who passed away while on Active Duty.

Confidentiality and Privacy: No information will be released to any person or agency without written consent from the veteran, except in circumstances averting a crisis. You do not have to receive prior approval to be seen at the Vet Center (e.g. Primary Care Provider, Unit Command, Insurance provider.)

Services Available:

Individual and Group counseling
Marital and Family counseling
Sexual trauma/Harassment counseling
Bereavement counseling
Substance Abuse Treatment/Referral
Referral for VA Benefits (medical, C&P, etc.,)
Liaison with community agencies

ACCESSING THE VA
www.va.gov, 1-800-827-1000 (7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.)
www.ebenefits.va.gov, One stop shop for benefits-related online tools and information, apply for benefits, see your benefits status and payments online Download your DD 214.

For Medical Benefits Apply via VA 10-10 EZ, 1-877-222-8387 Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST or apply online by filling out the application online and electronically submit it to the VA for processing via the VA website or mail completed VA 10-10 to Health Eligibility Center, 2957 Clairmont Road, Suite 200, Atlanta GA 30329-1647

Also visit the VA Mobile App Store, https://mobile.va.gov. These apps help you better manage your care and stay in touch with your VA care team.

DEFENSE CENTERS OF EXCELLENCEwww.dcoe.mil
The Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) provides the Military Health System with current and emerging psychological health and traumatic brain injury clinical and educational information. They identify gaps and prioritize needs in psychological health and TBI research, and then translate that research in clinical practice to improve patient outcomes. DCoE is a joint, integrated combat support agency that supports the Military Health System.

ARMY ONESOURCEwww.myARMYonesource.com
AOS is a Secretary of the Army initiative to provide comprehensive community support and service deliver for Soldiers and their Families regardless of component or geographic location. A Primary goal of AOS is to mobilize the community to effectively serve the unique challenges of Military life, including growing demand for behavioral health, financial, legal and faith-based services. Through the development of alliances in all 50 states, AOS is creating a community support system that is critical to mitigating the negative consequences of war and empowering Service members and their Families to live the lives they deserve.

NATIONAL GUARD PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTH PROGRAM
National Guard members and families should never weather emotional and behavioral challenges alone. If you believe you, a family member, or a friend might need assistance, you can contact National Guard Psychological Health Program https://www.jointservicessupport.org/PHP/Default.aspx

THE REAL WARRIOR CAMPAIGN WEBSITEwww.realwarriors.net
Real Warrior Campaign features articles to help military families care for warriors, loved ones, and themselves throughout the phases of deployment. Know what to expect during reunions and goodbyes, how to identify adjustment challenges and when to ask for help and support.

REAL WARRIORS CAMPAIGN – 7 Tools to reinforce Military Family Resilience –
Free Confidential Resources for military families.

  1. Call the DCOE Outreach Center (866) 966-1020
  2. Log on to real Warriors live chat www.realwarriors.net/livechat
  3. Hear from real warriors and military families www.realwariors.net/multimedia
  4. Share your story on the message board www.realwarriors.net/forum
  5. Educate yourself www.realwarriors.net/family
  6. Get your warrior support during transitions www.health.mil/transition
  7. Send a real warriors Ecard www.realwarriors.net/ecard

Also get support from a military family organization near you through a Real Warriors Campaign Partner www.realwarriors.net/partner;
For in Transition coaching and tools: 800-424-7877 (toll-free inside the US)
or 800-424-4685 (DSN, toll-free outside the US)

SURVIVOR OUTREACH SERVICES: There is help for you to cope with your loss and to help you understand and apply for benefits and entitlements. www.sos.army.mil 1-855-707-2769 or contact your local office.

Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors 1-800-959-8277

VetsConnectwww.vetsconnect.org
Connects Vietnam Veterans with recent veterans and current members of the military so that VVA’s (Vietnam Veterans of America) experience, particularly in the areas of veterans’ benefits and veterans’ health care can be used to help them and their families.

VETERANS EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING SERVICEShttps://www.dol.gov
“America’s Heroes at Work Veterans Hiring Toolkit: A step-by-step toolkit for employers.” This toolkit provides important steps and resources when designing a Veterans hiring initiative for your business.

COMPEER CORPS VET2VET PROGRAMwww.compeer.org
The goal is to enhance a veteran’s self-esteem and self-worth: improve connectedness to civilian society: reduce dependency on emergency services; reduce stigma through friendship; and to create a strong an supportive environment to successful lead our veterans on the road to recovery.

STOP HIDING AND START RECOVERING – HELP IS AVAILABLE:
DCoE Outreach Center (866) 966-1020 or take an online, anonymous assessment at AfterDeployment.com.

MAKE THE CONNECTIONwww.maketheconnection.net
Veterans stories of recovery and where to find resources and services.

Click Here to download a Family Coping and Resiliency Suicide Prevention Training Tip Card to be used as a training aid for the Suicide Prevention for Army Family Members