The first week of October is a national mental health awareness week, with October being a National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month. October 10th is commonly celebrated as World Mental Health Day.
Because checking in on our mental health is important, here are some mental health resources available for military spouses and families:
FOCUS (Families OverComing Under Stress)
FOCUS is resiliency skills training for military service members, spouses and children. They can be found at specific installations or via telehealth services. FOCUS provides a variety of services centered around the military family, including the original FOCUS resilience training program, consultations, briefs and education workshops.
MilitaryOneSource has a variety of mental health resources available, including confidential counseling. Their call center is available 24/7 to discuss different confidential counseling options. These are non-medical counseling services, which means they will refer out for issues such as diagnosed mental health conditions, suicidal ideation, abuse, substance abuse and sexual assault. These services are a great resource for stress, adjustment difficulties and parenting skills, etc.
Military and Family Life Counselors are another option for non-medical counseling services which are targeted to help address concerns that can arise from the military lifestyle. You can often find MFLCs on base, at places like the Child Development Centers, Schools (both on and off base), and serving as points of contacts for commands.
Family Advocacy Program (FAP)
FAP provides clinical and non-clinical services focused around child abuse, domestic violence, neglect and problematic sexual behavior in children. FAP runs programs such as the New Parent Support program, Victim Advocacy, and treatment, counseling and rehabilitation services for service members who use violence in their relationships.
Spouses and dependents with Tricare Prime seeking outpatient mental health services can get services from an in-network provider without a referral. There are some exceptions, so double check with Tricare before scheduling services.
Give an Hour is a non-profit organization dedicated to meeting the needs of mental health services for military members and their families (as well as victims of natural disasters). Services are free and can be used for a variety of reasons. If more services are needed, they will provide referrals for additional services.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or TTY: 1-800-799-4889
Crisis Text Line: USA: Text HOME to 741741
Military Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 press 1 https://www.veteranscrisisline.net/get-help/military-crisis-line
If you or a loved one need help with your mental health, please reach out. There are a variety of services available, many of them for free, to military service members.