About Military Issues
Being a service men in the military has its benefits and disadvantages and one of the first body part to break is your psyche. This is especially true when you’re assigned to an area where there is an ongoing military operation that involves heavy fighting. The gun fires and explosions plus the extreme weather conditions that you’re not accustomed to and all other discomforts will all contribute to put you under severe stress and get you out of your mind. The Department of Defense understood this fact since the early days of WWI where many US soldiers as well as allied soldiers suffered PTSD or post traumatic stress disorder and have since recommended military issue counseling for war veterans.
Most Common Types of Military Counseling
Besides military issue counseling any servicemen who needs psychiatric help and/or counseling for depression and related concerns can also get life counseling and military marriage counseling. Sometimes these DoD counseling services overlap, but for the most part, they fall under any one of these three counseling categories:
1. Counseling for Military Personnel – this type of counseling is personnel-centered and aims to eradicate their feelings of any qualms that was caused by emotional injury (i.e. feeling guilty for hurting or killing people during war, wants to quit the military in preference the comfort of his/her previous civilian lifestyle, etc.). Depending on the level of distress the service is suffering, the psychiatrist will recommend a specific or set of treatment options which may include medication, one-on-one counseling and encouragement from family members.
2. Counseling for Military Families – this type of counseling encompasses the entirety of the servicemen and their families involved in typical family issues that military personnel experience with their wives and children. The DoD wants its military personnel to be in top physical and mental condition just as their military hardware is in perfect combat condition. Often if the serviceman is having problems, then he/she won’t be operating in optimal condition and could be the reason for the failure of their mission, which is unacceptable! Military marriage counseling is an emphasized need by US military generals and commanders who understands the crippling consequences of a problematic serviceman could inflict on the military.
3. Counseling for Training Programs and Specific Missions – this type of counseling is completely different from the first two types that we’ve discussed and is meant for individuals who psychiatrists think will perform well in specific, often dangerous, missions. Doctors will evaluate several psychological profiles of US servicemen across the branches of the US Armed Forces and select perhaps a few or just one individual that they’ll recommend to the generals that need them for specific missions.
Military Counseling Services
The United States Department of Defense has sufficient resources and personnel to give all active-duty, designated Department of Defense expeditionary civilians and their families, survivors, as well as National Guard and reserve service members counseling options. And they include:
• Installation’s Chaplain – a chaplain is basically a priest assigned in military duty. Their mission is not to fight the enemy but help US soldiers cope with stress, anxiety and depression. They give spiritual encouragement and they are trained counselors also. The chaplain is the perfect person to give military issue counseling as well as life counseling.
• Combat Stress Control Teams – these CSC teams are composed of mental health professionals that are plugged into combat units while deployed abroad (soldiers who are deployed inside US bases in mainland USA do not suffer as much stress as those stationed outside the country, especially in war zones) where they perform security missions. They are critical to the mental health of the servicemen as they can provide assistance instantly.
• Non-Medical Counseling Resources – non-medical counseling services are usually done face-to-face, by telephone, online and video, which is why it is non-medical as no medical treatment is given to the patient. However, the professionals who provide such services are experts in mental health and are even licensed to operate independently. The issues they handle include adjustment issues (especially abroad), stress management, making relationships work at home and work, coping with marriage-related problems, parenting, as well as grief and loss issues.
• The Family Advocacy Program – the DoD also has a family-centered counseling program which is a step up from the military marriage counseling and helps deal with marital issues as well as children’s issues that may include anxiety separation (for when the mom or dad who is a serviceman or servicewoman leaves for duty), promote strong and healthy relationships among family members, domestic violence and/or child abuse.
• TRICARE or your Nearest Military Treatment Facility – the TRICARE health program of the DoD Military Health System provides civilian health benefits for US servicemen and their families (dependents). However, not all medical services will be covered and some you may have to pay half or a certain percentage amount of the total cost, while others are not 100% covered at all. The good news is that the non-covered medical services are a small portion of what is covered.
• United States Department of Veterans Affairs Counseling – the VA as is commonly known among war veterans and civilians is part of the US DoD program to help veterans cope with mental health issues and getting them back to be a part of society again. Retired soldiers naturally will be unemployed and so they’ll need to look for work, but sometimes the PTSD and other complicated issues prevents them from functioning well, so they either are rejected or fired from the job. It is the VA’s job to fix them and make them a productive person of society again.
• Outside military support channels – the military personnel can also opt to get medical assistance from civilian mental health service providers. But just like with TRICARE these service providers may charge more and sometimes some medical services are also not covered and you’d have to pay out of your own pocket.