Skip to main content

Military Health System

Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Resources Provide Help: You Are Not Alone

Image of Military personnel posing for a picture. Spc. Andrea Stevenson, a Baltimore, Maryland native and Army food service specialist assigned t o115th Quartermaster Field Feeding Company, 4th Division Sustainment Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, poses for a photo, March 11, 2022, at the Wolf Dinning Facility, Fort Carson, Colorado. On Feb. 28, Stevenson's best friend in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, called to say she was going to commit suicide. Due to her quick reaction, Stevenson was able to save the life of her close friend. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Joshua Zayas).

Recommended Content:

Mental Health: Seeking Care with TRICARE | Suicide Prevention Toolkit | Suicide Prevention Toolkit | Psychological Fitness

Life is full of ups and downs. But sometimes life events—financial strain, relationships, isolation, emotional or sexual abuse, stress, and misuse or abuse of alcohol or drugs—can lead to depression, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide for some. It’s important to remember that you are not alone. If you or a loved one need immediate help, you can call the Military & Veterans' Crisis Line by dialing 988 and selecting Option 1. Or start a chat online. The crisis line is free and available 24/7 to help you and connect you with the resources you need.

MentalHealth.gov defines mental health this way: “Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.”

However, life’s challenges can affect how we think, feel, and act. And our mental health may also be affected.

Mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety, may interfere with your life and overall physical health. You can have symptoms that are mild and brief or more serious and persistent.

According to Dr. Krystyna Bienia, clinical psychologist and senior policy analyst at the Defense Health Agency, mental health disorders are treatable, and recovery is possible.

“TRICARE beneficiaries are urged to seek help as soon as they can when they notice something doesn’t feel right, or symptoms begin to present themselves,” Dr. Bienia said. “Early intervention is key, but help at any point is best. It’s okay to not be okay. But be sure to ask for help.”

What are some early signs of possible mental health problems that are interfering with your (or a loved one’s) daily routine?

  • Eating or sleeping too much or too little.
  • Pulling away from people and usual activities.
  • Having trouble concentrating.
  • Having low or no energy. 
  • Feeling numb or like nothing matters. 
  • Having unexplained aches and pains.
  • Feeling helpless or hopeless. 
  • Smoking or drinking more than usual. 

Do you think you or a family member could benefit from mental health services? TRICARE provides a number of resources. If you need help finding a provider, including a mental health provider, you can use the Find a Doctor tool. You can also reach out to your primary care provider or your TRICARE regional contractor.

You don’t need a referral or pre-authorization for any outpatient mental health (except for psychoanalysis) and substance use disorder care. This includes services like individual or family therapy. For example, if you have TRICARE Prime, you don’t need a referral to see a network provider for office-based outpatient mental health services. If you have TRICARE Select, you can see any TRICARE-authorized provider. But you’ll lower your out-of-pocket costs if you choose to see a network provider.

If you have TRICARE For Life, Medicare is the primary payer for your mental health services. You only need a referral or pre-authorization from TRICARE if your Medicare benefits are exhausted.

Are you an active duty service member? You should first seek nonemergency mental health services at your military hospital or clinic. You need to get a referral and pre-authorization for all civilian mental health services. You can go to the TRICARE website to learn more.

Keep in mind, you don’t need a referral or pre-authorization for emergency care. If you think you have a mental health emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number. Or go to the nearest emergency room. You need immediate help if you’re experiencing any of these signs:

  • Thinking about hurting or killing yourself.
  • Looking for ways to hurt yourself.
  • Talking about death, dying, or suicide.
  • Self-destructive behavior, such as drug abuse or risky use of weapons.

Non Emergency Mental Health Services

Depending on your needs and diagnosis, many treatment levels may be available to you. How do you get nonemergency mental health services? It depends on the level of care you need, your health plan, and your sponsor status. Some nonemergency mental health services TRICARE covers are:

Did you know telemental health services are also a part of your TRICARE benefit? With your computer, or phone, you can connect securely with your provider. Go to the TRICARE website to for more on these mental health resources.

Additional Services

The Military Health System has additional mental health resources that are available 24/7:

You also may be interested in...

DOD Begins Hiring Prevention Workforce

Article Around MHS
12/2/2022
Suicide in the Military is down, but suicide suicide prevention remains a dedicated DOD focus.

DOD is working to create the healthy climates necessary to address a range of problematic and harmful behaviors, including suicide. This will be accomplished, in part, with a new and dedicated focus.

Recommended Content:

Suicide Prevention Toolkit | Suicide Prevention | Depression | Psychological Fitness | Mental Health is Health Care

DHA's E Caregiver Directory Puts Resources at Your Fingertips

Article
11/30/2022
Woman on left stretching her husband's left arm and right leg

Caregivers now have needed resources at their fingertips on their mobile phones, tablets, and computers.

Recommended Content:

Brain Injury Awareness To Improve Readiness | Mental Health: Seeking Care with TRICARE | Suicide Prevention Toolkit | Warrior Care – A Show of Strength | Mental Health is Health Care

U.S. Space Force Family Attends First Warrior Games

Article
10/19/2022
Space Force captain with raised archery bow and arrow  shown in profile competing in her first Warrior Games.

U.S. Space Force Capt. Nichole "Nikki" Evenson competes in her first Warrior Games with the support of her family and the U.S. Air Force Wounded Warrior community.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care | Mental Health: Seeking Care with TRICARE | Warrior Care – A Show of Strength

Hispanic Heritage Month Highlight: Capt. Cyanela Hernandez Borrero

Article Around MHS
10/17/2022
U.S. Air Force Capt. Cyanela "HB" Hernandez Borrero

Capt. Cyanela "HB" Hernandez Borrero, a Clinical Psychologist assigned to the 380th Expeditionary Medical Squadron, was born and raised on the island of Puerto Rico. From a young age, she was influenced by the medical field and the military.

Recommended Content:

October | Psychological Fitness

Destigmatizing Mental Health Counseling and Treatment in Relation to National Security Clearances

Article Around MHS
10/13/2022
Mental health infographic

A new specialty adjudicative branch of the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency Consolidated Adjudications Service focusing in behavioral science is expediting security clearance adjudications, as the agency continues its campaign to destigmatize mental health counseling and treatment in relation to the adjudication of national security clearances.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health: Seeking Care with TRICARE | Psychological Fitness | Mental Health is Health Care

Dedicated Mental Health Facility Opens for Naval Surface Force in San Diego

Article Around MHS
10/12/2022
Military medical personnel at ceremony

The Embedded Mental Health building is the new mental health facility for Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (CNSP) operational Sailors, with an overarching goal to give active-duty personnel fast and quality access to mental health care, provide consultation to triads, and training for medical personnel and crews.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health: Seeking Care with TRICARE | Suicide Prevention Toolkit | Psychological Fitness | Mental Health is Health Care

Suicide Prevention Draws Awareness at Madigan

Article Around MHS
9/27/2022
Command Sgt. Maj. Albert Harris speaking at Madigan Army Medical Center

The numbers shock and offend the senses – roughly one active duty service member ends their life each day; add in Reserve and National Guard components and the number rises to an average of 1.5 per day. Madigan Army Medical Center’s Department of Behavioral Health hosted a National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month event on September 22, to raise awareness among the Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., community and honor those who have passed.

Recommended Content:

Suicide Prevention Toolkit | Suicide Prevention | Psychological Fitness

Suicide Prevention: A Message from Lt. Gen. Place

Video
9/23/2022
Suicide Prevention: A Message from Lt. Gen. Place

The Director of the Defense Health Agency, Lt. Gen. Ronald Place, gives a message on Suicide Prevention. Service members’ lives are different from the lives of civilians. Relocations, deployments, time away from family, and stressful experiences related to combat can increase suicide risk. Suicide prevention remains a top priority for the DOD and the Military Health System. All Military Health System providers are trained to identify suicide warning signs. We’ve developed evidence-based tools for suicide risk assessment and care across every single military hospital and clinic. And if help is needed, we’re committed to ensuring our patients get the health care they've earned. Working together we can all help reduce the risk and prevent suicides.

Recommended Content:

Suicide Prevention | Suicide Prevention Toolkit | Mental Health is Health Care

H2F Making a Difference, Tackling the Whole Approach to Care

Article Around MHS
9/15/2022
Military personnel with H2F emblem

Suicide Prevention Month officially kicked off with a suicide survivor panel at the Fort Bragg Soldier and Family Readiness Group Center

Recommended Content:

Mental Health: Seeking Care with TRICARE | Suicide Prevention Toolkit | Nutritional Fitness | Suicide Prevention | Spiritual Fitness | Sleep | Mental Health is Health Care

Suicide Prevention Month

Article Around MHS
9/14/2022
Infographic for #BeThere campaign

September is Suicide Prevention Month. No one fights the battle alone. Make it your mission to #BeThere for each other.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health: Seeking Care with TRICARE | Suicide Prevention Toolkit | Suicide Prevention | Mental Health is Health Care

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline Expands Opportunities to Help

Article Around MHS
9/9/2022
Infographic for Military Crisis Lifeline

The nationwide kickoff of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, operated 24/7, provides a new tool that expands the opportunities for professional counseling.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health: Seeking Care with TRICARE | Suicide Prevention Toolkit | Psychological Fitness | Mental Health is Health Care

#BeThere - September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

Article Around MHS
9/7/2022
#BeThere infographic for Suicide Awareness Month

Suicide rates among military members continue to increase year after year.

Recommended Content:

Suicide Prevention Toolkit | Mental Health: Seeking Care with TRICARE | Psychological Fitness | Mental Health is Health Care

#BeThere_Marine Mark Wahlberg & Will Ferrell

Article Around MHS
9/7/2022
Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell

PSA video with Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell bringing attention to suicide prevention and promoting the DSTRESS Line and Community Counseling Centers.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Health Center of Excellence | Psychological Fitness | Mental Health: Seeking Care with TRICARE | Suicide Prevention Toolkit | Mental Health is Health Care

Suicide Awareness Month Reminder: Seek Help for PTSD

Article
9/2/2022
Graphic of warfighters on patrol with the caption Not All Wounds are Visible .PTSD Awareness

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is a real mental health issue. Be aware and seek help.

Recommended Content:

Suicide Prevention Toolkit | Posttraumatic Stress Disorder | Suicide Prevention | Psychological Fitness | In the Spotlight

Mental Health Office Helps AUAB Members Maintain Readiness

Article Around MHS
8/30/2022
Air Force Tech. Sgt. Melissa Leonardo smiles for photo

Comprehensive Airman Fitness is comprised of physical, social, spiritual and mental fitness. Being physically fit to fight and maintaining a war fighter spirit are crucial to completing the mission.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Spiritual Fitness | Nutritional Fitness | Depression | Posttraumatic Stress Disorder | Anxiety | Stress | Mental Health: Seeking Care with TRICARE | Mental Health is Health Care
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 11
Refine your search
Last Updated: August 17, 2022
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery