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TRICARE has Resources for Those Struggling with Events in Afghanistan

A soldier looks out over a valley in the Kunar Province of Afghanistan while on patrol. A soldier with the Army’s 10th Mountain Division looks out over a valley in the Kunar Province of Afghanistan while on patrol. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew Moeller)

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Psychological Health Center of Excellence

The news out of Afghanistan has affected many in our community. We know this may cause stress to some service members, military retirees, and their families. If you think you or a family member could benefit from mental health services, you’re covered with TRICARE.

“Departure of U.S. forces from Afghanistan stirred emotions from many people, particularly those who served in Afghanistan, their families, and their coworkers,” said Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald J. Place, director of the Defense Health Agency. “Helplessness, anger, and frustration are all normal feelings, but know that you are not alone. Lean on each other, friends, family, chaplains, and others to talk it through. And know that the Military Health System is here for you if you need assistance.”

It’s important to note that there are resources that the Military Health System offers that you and your family can turn to.

If you want to speak with a TRICARE-authorized provider, you can reach out to your primary care manager or primary care provider. They can provide an initial assessment and possibly treatment. And they can refer you to an appropriate mental health care provider, if necessary.

You can also visit a mental health care provider. If you need help finding a network provider that’s right for you, call your TRICARE contractor. Keep in mind, some providers may offer telehealth options, which will allow you to use your phone, tablet, or computer to talk to a health care provider.

Remember, how you get non-emergency mental health care depends on the level of care you need, your health plan, and your sponsor status.

If you or a loved one needs immediate help, you are not alone. You can call the Military Crisis Line at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and choose option 1, text 838255, or chat online. The crisis line is available to you 24/7.

The Psychological Health Resource Center is another 24/7 resource if you want help getting information or resources in your area. Call 1-866-966-1020. If you prefer to chat online with someone who can help you, you can also start a live chat.

The Military Health System has additional mental health resources that you can use. Find one that works for you.

If you think you have a medical health emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number right away. You can also go to the nearest emergency room. You don’t need a referral or pre-authorization for emergency care.

Learn more about covered mental health services. You can also download the TRICARE Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services Fact Sheet for more on your options for getting help.

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DHA AI 1020.01: Reasonable Accommodations (RA)

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This Defense Health Agency-Administrative Instruction (DHA-AI), based on the authority of References (a) through (c), and in accordance with the guidance of References (d) through (s), establishes the Defense Health Agency's (DHA) procedures to: a. Set procedures, responsibilities, and implement guidance for administering the DHA RA Program in accordance with federal guidelines. b. Provide, submit, and respond to requests for RAs of qualified individuals with disabilities who are employees or applicants for employment. c. Process RA requests for DHA employees and applicants with disabilities to ensure an appropriate response in a timely manner. Further, these procedures establish criteria for collecting and annually reporting data on the numbers and types of request for RA considered.

  • Identification #: DHA AI 1020.01
  • Date: 11/2/2020
  • Type: Administrative Instructions
  • Topics: Disability Evaluation

DHA PM 6025-01: Primary Care Behavioral Health (PCBH) Standards

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Procedures Manual (DHA-PM), based on the authority of References (a) and (b), and in accordance with the guidance of References (c) through (i), establishes the Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) procedures to establish required standards for: a. Military Medical Treatment Facilities (MTFs) and primary care clinics for adult, child and adolescent, health behavior, behavioral medicine, and behavioral health services in primary care. b. Behavioral Health Consultants (BHCs). c. Behavioral Health Care Facilitators (BHCFs). d. External Behavioral Health Consultants (EBHCs). e. Primary Care Clinic Leaders.

DHA PI 6490.02: Behavioral Health (BH) Treatment and Outcomes Monitoring

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Procedural Instruction (DHA-PI), based on the authority of References (a) and (b), and in accordance with the guidance of References (c) through (k): a. Establishes the Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) procedures for the collection and analysis of BH outcome data. b. Addresses how DoD will standardize BH outcome data collection to: assess variations in mental health and substance use care among in-garrison medical treatment facilities (MTFs) and clinics; assess the relationship of treatment protocols and practices to BH outcomes; and identify barriers to provider implementation of evidence-based clinical guidance approved by DoD. c. Designates the Army as the DoD lead Service for maintenance and sustainment of the Behavioral Health Data Portal (BHDP) in specialty care mental health and substance use clinics, referred to collectively as BH clinics, until BHDP functionality can be integrated with GENESIS or another electronic health record (EHR) system managed by DHA. d. Designates DHA Information Operations (J-6) as lead on transitioning BHDP functional requirements related to outcomes monitoring to future EHR data collection platforms and processes.

  • Identification #: DHA PI 6490.02
  • Date: 7/12/2018
  • Type: DHA Procedural Instruction
  • Topics: Substance Abuse

DoD Instruction 6490.10: Continuity of Behavioral Health Care for Transferring and Transitioning Service Members

Policy

In accordance with the authority in Reference (a), this Instruction establishes policy for the Military Departments, assigns responsibilities, and prescribes guidelines for establishment of Military Department policy and procedures to ensure continuity of behavioral health (BH) care at the losing and gaining installations when Service members transition from one health care provider (HCP) to another when transferring to a new duty station or transitioning out of the Service.

  • Identification #: DoD Instruction 6490.10
  • Date: 10/28/2015
  • Type: Instructions
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DoD Instruction 6490.15: Integration of Behavioral Health Personnel (BHP) Services Into Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Primary Care and Other Primary Care Service Settings

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This instruction establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and prescribes procedures for attainment of inter-Service standards for developing, initiating, and maintaining adult behavioral health services in primary care.

  • Identification #: DoD Instruction 6490.15
  • Date: 11/20/2014
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DoD Instruction 6490.05: Maintenance of Psychological Health in Military Operations

Policy

This instruction establishes policy and assigns responsibilities in accordance with References (c), (d), and (e) for developing combat and operational stress control (COSC) programs within the Military Departments, the Combatant Commands, and joint Service operations.

  • Identification #: DoD Instruction 6490.05
  • Date: 10/2/2013
  • Type: Instructions
  • Topics: N/A

DoD Instruction 6490.12: Mental Health Assessments for Service Members Deployed in Connection with a Contingency Operation

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This instruction establishes the policy for person-to-person deployment mental health assessments for each member of the Military Services deployed in connection with a contingency operation according to Section 1074m of Title 10, United States Code (Reference (b)).

  • Identification #: DoD Instruction 6490.12
  • Date: 10/2/2013
  • Type: Instructions
  • Topics: N/A

DoD Instruction 6490.04: Mental Health Evaluations of Members of the Military Services

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Reissues DoD Instruction 6490.4 (Reference (b)), establishing policy, assigning responsibilities, and prescribing procedures for the referral, evaluation, treatment, and medical and command management of Service members who may require assessment for mental health issues, psychiatric hospitalization, and risk of imminent or potential danger to self or others.

  • Identification #: DoD Instruction 6490.04
  • Date: 4/3/2013
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DoD Instruction 6490.08: Command Notification Requirements to Dispel Stigma in Providing Mental Health Care to Service Members

Policy

This instruction provides guidance for balance between patient confidentiality rights and the commander’s right to know for operation and risk management decisions.

  • Identification #: DoD Instruction 6490.08
  • Date: 8/17/2011
  • Type: Instructions
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Mental Health Assessments for Members of the Armed Forces Deployed in Connection with a Contingency Operation

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Policy Guidance for Deployment-Limiting Psychiatric Conditions and Medications

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This policy provides guidance on deployment and continued service in a deployed environment for military personnel who experience psychiatric disorders and/or who are prescribed psychotropic medication.

HA 97-017: Policy for Post-Deployment Mental Health Screening in the Bosnian Theater

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This memo describes a change in procedure for medical surveillance of U.S. forces deploying to Bosnia.

  • Identification #: HA 97-017
  • Date: 11/25/1996
  • Type: Memorandums
  • Topics: Deployment Health
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