Right now, it seems like our military life is particularly unstable. Rapidly changing international relations and mounting tensions overseas are creating stress among troops and military families worldwide. When the going gets tough, access these free counseling and support services you should know about now.
Free Counseling and Support Services Every Military Family Need to Know
Handling mental health can still have a negative stigma among military members and families. However, it’s important to know that keeping your head in the game and your mind clear is just as important to the mission as your physical fitness.
When you need to get things off your chest or figure out how you’re operating mentally, use one of these free resources to seek support.
Military Family Life Counselor (MFLC)
Military troops, their families and survivors can access completely free, 100% confidential mental health counseling via the MFLC program.
Licensed therapists, social workers and counselors are stationed at bases worldwide, ready to support your mental health needs. Your need must be non-medical in nature.
MFLCs are able to help you with:
- Marriage or relationship counseling
- Adjustment difficulties
- Stress at home or work
- Loss and grief
- Work-related concerns
They may not cover issues such as:
- Active suicidal or homicidal thoughts
- Sexual assault
- Child abuse
- Domestic Violence
- Drug, alcohol or substance addiction(s)
- Serious mental health concerns
This treatment is confidential. No one will be informed that you have spoken with an MFLC without your consent. Not your chain of command, spouse, PCM, friends or family.
However, MFLCs must report instances of domestic or child abuse, past or present illegal activity, violence or harm to yourself or others.
To contact the MFLC(s) at your current location, reach out to your duty stations Military and Family Life Center. You can also call 800-342-9647 to connect with MilitaryOneSource and MFLCS. If you are located OCONUS, follow these calling instructions.
Some DoDEA schools have an on-campus MFLC or MFLC team. For more information, contact your child’s teacher or the school’s administration team.
MilitaryOneSource Offers Free Counseling Support
MilitaryOneSource serves as a go-to resource for everything about military life. That includes accessing non-medical counseling services, specialty support services and other tools.
MilitaryOneSource offers free, short-term non-medical counseling. This means that your counselor will not prescribe you any medication related to the concerns you raise. Instead, he or she will listen to you and then share strategies to help you cope.
Some of these counselors are MFLCs, but others are civilian counselors practicing in your community. This can be a good option for support outside of, but connected to, the military community. No one will be informed that you have sought help without your direct consent or involvement. That includes your chain of command, your PCM, your spouse, your children, your friend or other family.
These services are available to all active duty, guard, reserve troops and their families; designated members of the DOD expeditionary civilian employees and their families; survivors.
Children may access these services, with certain supervision restrictions for children younger than 17.
Specialty Counseling Services
MilitaryOneSource offers many specialty support or counseling services for individuals in a particular moment of life or with a certain set of needs.
- Adult disability
- Building healthy relationships
- Elder care
- Health & wellness coaching
- New MilParent
- Spouse relocation & transition
- Transitioning Veterans
- Wounded warrior
For more information about each of these support services, contact MilitaryOneSource at 800-342-9647. A consultant will be able to direct you to the program or support option that best meets your immediate needs.
Military-Provided Mental Health Support & Counseling
MilitaryOneSource and the MFLC program are ideal for individuals who are looking for short-term support for a non-medical problem. However, there are some times when individuals will need to bring their medical team into the loop.
Troops and other Tricare beneficiaries have access to fully trained medical professionals who can treat a wide range of medically involved mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety and more.
Medical professionals can recommend combining medication with traditional therapy. Many MTFs and civilian medical practices have personnel licensed to prescribe and/or offer other therapeutic options to treat your current mental health conditions.
Unlike the previous options, any treatment you seek or receive via your Tricare-authorized PCM will become part of your medical record. They are also mandated reporters, sharing information about things related to:
- Domestic abuse
- Child abuse or neglect
- Illegal acts, past or present
- Suicidal or homicidal thoughts
Military & Veterans Crisis Line
When you need help fast, especially involving a situation that might result in harm to yourself or others, it important to have a resource on speed dial. that’s the Military or Veterans Crisis Line.
You can call, text or chat online 24/7 with a qualified VA provider. Many are veterans who have transitioned to helping others through tough moments in life.