Thank you for your service! I am an ex-wife (USN), sister and Aunt (USMC), step-cousin (Hungarian Army), step/adopt daughter to a refugee from the Hungarian Revolution and a bio-daughter (USA), so I have a lot of family who were involved one way or another with the military. Now I am a provider through various channels. I am first going to explain to you some of the Mental Health resources available to you and then I will talk to you about the type of work I am doing with PTSD survivors right now. However, you don’t have to have PTSD to come in and talk!
There are lots of resources I am aware of and they can be pretty confusing to hear about, so lets begin:
MFLC – Military and Family Life Counselors – These are counselors that can be found on base around the world and this can include child counselors at the schools that serve the military. This is very short term, drop-in, non-medical services and are found at the family center on base or at the school serving the base. You might see one at a Yellow Ribbon ceremony as well.
MOS – Military One Source – This is a lot of things (so click on the link to find out more) but also includes up to 12 sessions of non-medical counseling with a licensed professional near you. This is NOT for PTSD or other mental health diagnosis as it is short term. This means once you finish seeing your therapist, you are finished with that therapist. (Active Duty-any service member regardless of component or branch)
Tri-Care – Insurance – This is your medical benefits and can be used for mental health services as well. You might hear them say that you have 8 mental health sessions and what this means is that after 8 sessions the therapist has to get authorization to continue seeing you. This does not mean it is free 8 sessions (meaning no co-pay). Co-pays are dependent on your contract with the insurance company and whether you are Active Duty or not.
VA – Veteran’s Administration – You know what the VA is but I thought I’d put the main link here. Go to the top of their page and to the right it will say Locations so that you can find one near you. They do offer mental health services and you will probably be on a wait list. Some areas have special programs for PTSD.
Veteran’s Crisis Line – 1-800-273-8255 (press 1)
Vet Center – 1-877-WAR VETS (1.877.927.8387) Records are completely separate than the rest of the VA. This service is predominately for combat veterans (DD214) and their families. It is also for any service member who has experienced sexual trauma.
Wounded Warriors – This is NOT just physical disability but a mental health wound as well. Click on their link because they have a lot of services besides mental health. Get on their email list to learn about workshops and other veteran type events. For mental health, this is up to 12 sessions and it is okay to continue seeing your therapist post-12 sessions. If you have PTSD, or other mental health issues from combat (Post 9/11), contact them to find out about their mental health services.
Star Behavioral Health – This is a link to providers who have taken specialized training to work with the military.
PsychologyToday.com – This is not a military link, however, you can also find providers on here who work with the military.
Okay, so now about the work I do with veteran’s. I have recently been trained in CPT or Cognitive Processing Therapy which is a VA approved treatment for working with PTSD. As I write (10/9/18), I am about to join a consultation group for the next 20 weeks to become certified in this treatment method. So, I need you. In this case, the PTSD does not need to come from combat to utilize the CPT treatment. If you are an abuse survivor who had this diagnosis prior to enlistment or have PTSD from a non-combat adult situation (i.e., rape, domestic violence), CPT can be utilized for any PTSD survivor. It is a wonderful program and it requires your commitment as this treatment is consistent weekly sessions for up to 12 weeks.