Military life also can be overwhelming, lonely, difficult and hard to handle. Sometimes it can be a little too much.
Making friends and forming deep connections with fellow military spouses can truly be life saving. They can help you through tough times and help turn the tides sometimes.
Everything can’t always be fixed with a friend though.
Maybe you don’t want to admit to anyone how you are really feeling or maybe they don’t understand. No matter the reason, if you feel like you need someone to talk to, there are mental health resources available for military spouses.
You aren’t alone. Help is only a phone call away.
Here is a list of available mental health resources for military spouses:
National Military Family Association
There are many options to choose from when you are ready to take that step. The National Military Family Association is a wonderful organization founded by military spouses that advocates for military families. There are mental health resources listed on their site to guide you to the proper avenue that will get you the care you need. This can range from short-term counseling and assistance to long-term or medical mental health assistance.
Non-medical help can be sought out from family support centers at your installation, through the office of the chaplain, at military hospitals and clinics as well as through military family life consultants.
Military OneSource offers non-medical counseling sessions as well. Through Military OneSource, you are entitled to 12 free sessions. These sessions can be in person, over the phone or online. To find out more and to make an appointment call 1-800-342-9647.
Long-term medical and mental health resources are available through Tricare. You can visit a mental health care provider at a military hospital or clinic or utilize the Tricare network for authorized civilian mental health resources. The cost associated with these services will depend on the type of policy you have with Tricare, Prime or Standard.
Military spouses can receive up to 8 outpatient mental health care visits without needing a referral. If follow-up appointments are needed, you will be required to get a referral from your provider. Visit Tricare’s website to learn more.
There is unfortunately a stigma that comes with mental health in this country. Sadly, many people are afraid to seek help because they fear there may be consequences once it’s known that mental health resources are needed.
In the military community, there is the fear that it will have an impact on promotions and duty assignments. If you feel like something isn’t right, like you just aren’t yourself, don’t keep it bottled up for fear of repercussions.
You don’t have to go through official channels, like Tricare, initially if that’s what’s holding you back on seeking help. There are many anonymous platforms you can use for mental health resources.
Military OneSource Confidential Help
Free confidential consultations and services are offered. If you want to talk to someone they offer in person, over the phone, online and secure video chat. They can help with emotional and interpersonal difficulties to include adjusting to military life, surviving deployments, everyday stress, parenting challenges and working though loss. The counselor will not inform anyone, including the command and your spouse, of your consultation.
The Marine Corps DSTRESS Line is available 24/7 and is an anonymous phone and chat counseling service available to veteran Marines, attached sailors and family members. It is manned by veteran Marines, Marine Corps spouses and licensed behavioral health clinical counselors that have Marine Corps specific training. The phone number is 1-877-476-7734.
National Guard Joint Services Support
The National Guard Psychological Health Program has directors of psychological health in every state, territory and online to help family members get the help they need. They have programs to build family resiliency, educational support for complete wellness and access to immediate help. They also have an online library where you can research mental health.
Family Advocacy Program
This mental health resource is for service members and their families. They help with issues stemming from deployment and life stressors that cause problems with family function, domestic violence and child abuse. Classes, workshops, counseling and new parent support programs are all available.
There are many options available to military spouses when mental health resources are needed. The first step is to admit to yourself that you need help and that that is OK. You can start by talking to a friend, a family member, a command spouse liaison or your doctor. If they can’t provide the support you need, take the next step and seek professional help through mental health resources such as these listed above.