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Clinical and Non-Clinical Care Resources

woman reflecting

Source: Photo by U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua J. Garcia

Service members and their families experience unique pressures, such as managing transitions, separations, cross-country moves and handling their personal finances. The Defense Department offers several ways service members and their families can get the help they need. Finding support from professionals or counselors you are comfortable with can help you have a positive experience. If the first provider you meet is not right for you, keep looking until you find the right fit.

Non-Clinical Care

Non-clinical (i.e., non-medical) resources are provided by counselors who have an understanding of the concerns that are specific to active-duty service members and military families. These counselors may have an advanced degree or a clinical license. The counseling sessions are typically confidential and not a part of your military medical record. The only exceptions to this confidentiality are related to information that might indicate a risk of self-harm or danger to others. Resources are available free of charge to military families, including:

Military OneSource

  • Short-term counseling, up to 12 weeks, to address concerns such as stress management, readjustment after deployment, improving relationships at home and work, and how to cope with grief and loss
  • Speak with a licensed counselor by telephone, online chat, video or in-person

Military and Family Life Counselor Program

Chaplains

  • Short-term counseling for a variety of concerns including spiritual concerns, work stress, combat stress, grief, marriage troubles and family challenges
  • Contact your local chaplain by reaching out to the chapel in your military community or on the nearest military installation, or contact Military OneSource at 800-342-9647

Clinical Care

Clinical (i.e., medical) resources are provided by health care professionals who hold an advanced degree and a professional license and are part of the military health care system. As with any health care appointment, information about the care provided is a part of your medical record. Active-duty service members and their families can access care at their military treatment facility, such as:

Primary Care Behavioral Health

  • Primary care managers (PCMs) work with you to address your behavioral health concerns.  They can assess your symptoms and make treatment recommendations, including counseling or medications
  • Your PCM may also work with  an internal behavioral health consultant who can assess your symptoms and provide short-term, focused treatments to help manage your symptoms

Specialized Mental Health Services

Services include treatment provided by licensed health care providers at your military treatment facility, such as psychologists, clinical social workers and psychiatrists. Treatment may include:

  • Outpatient treatment, including individual, group, or family counseling sessions to learn ways to cope with stress and other psychological health challenges. These professionals may provide medication management, or work with you to change your thoughts or behaviors in ways that can reduce your psychological health concerns and restore or enhance your psychological well-being.
  • Substance use disorder treatment, such as detoxification, rehabilitation and outpatient group and individual therapy. Some specialized mental health or substance misuse services may only be available outside of the MHS Network. Please work with your care manager and TRICARE to ensure your care is covered.

Talking about your psychological health can be challenging, but getting care early can improve your chances of a full recovery. Reaching out is a sign of strength and talking with a professional can help. If you or a loved one needs support, contact the Psychological Health Resource Center at 866-966-1020 to speak confidentially with trained health resource consultants 24/7. You can also visit our “Seek Help, Find Care” page to see a list of 24/7 psychological health resources. Watch video profiles to learn about service members who have successfully used the Military Health System and other psychological health resources for support.

Additional Resources

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