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5 Questions to Ask Your Psychological Health Provider

 
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Making a plan to talk with your health care provider about your psychological health concerns is an important step toward improving your overall well-being.

A health care provider can help you understand and address your concerns so you can maintain and strengthen your mental fitness.

Preparing For Your First Appointment

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When meeting with a health care provider for the first, it is important to share your concerns and be honest. Sharing personal information might be challenging, but it will help your provider develop a treatment plan that best addresses your symptoms. It is likely that a health care provider will ask about your significant health history and any ongoing symptoms. Because your appointment may be limited in time, make sure to prepare in advance to make the most of your visit. To prepare for your first appointment:

Write down any symptoms, including thoughts, feelings or behaviors you experience with as much detail as possible, such as:

  • How long the feeling or symptom lasts
  • Triggers – such as events, experiences or thoughts – that may make your symptoms worse
  • What you have tried to make symptoms go away and whether it worked or not
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List your medical history. Include any:

  • Past times that you have experienced psychological concerns, such as anxiety, substance misuse, trouble sleeping or post-traumatic stress
  • Physical concerns

Write down important personal information, including:

  • Family members with psychological health symptoms
  • Recent major life changes
  • Traumatic life events or a head injury

Don’t forget to bring your uniformed service ID card, also known as your common access card to your appointment

5 Questions to Ask Your Provider

 

YOU PLAY A CRUICAL ROLE IN YOUR HEALTH CARE. Asking your health care provider questions can support a well-rounded discussion about your care options. Talking with your doctor can build trust and give your provider the necessary information to properly advise and create a tailored a treatment plan. Five questions to ask your health care provider include:

1 What is my diagnosis? What may have contributed to my symptoms and why?

2 What are my treatment options? What are the benefits of each option and why?

3 How might my symptoms impact my work or family?

4 What can I do on my own to address my symptoms?

Discuss any activities you can do on your own that may help improve your mental fitness such as meditation, exercise and proper nutrition.

5 If I need to talk to someone before my next appointment, what should I do?

Be sure to set a time for your next appointment. Make sure you are told which health care provider you will work with and ask for the provider’s contact information.

It is important to understand your provider’s recommendations and make sure all your questions and concerns are addressed. Use this section to take notes.

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If you are in need of immediate care in between appointments, consider the following resources:

DCOE OUTREACH CENTER

Call/chat with a trained health resource consultant for free, 24/7 by calling 866-966-1020 or chat online at realwarriors.net/livechat

MILITARY TREATMENT FACILITY/TRICARE NURSE ADVICE LINE

Provides emergency and non-emergency care for both physical and invisible wounds covered by TRICARE. Visit tricare.mil/mtf to find a location near you or call 800-874-2273, press 1.

MILITARY CHAPLAINS

Chaplain services are great sources of comfort, support and encouragement. For many active-duty service members, contacting your chaplain is as easy as walking to the nearest chapel in your military community and making an appointment. If you don’t live near a military installation, contact the closest one and ask for assistance, or contact Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 to locate your unit chaplain.

MILITARY CRISIS LINE

Call/text/chat if you or someone you know is in a crisis at 800-273-8255, press 1, text 838255 or chat online at militarycrisisline.net/chat

 

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