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 | Suicide Prevention | 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...

Start the Conversation 29 Sec PSA

Video
6/18/2021
Start the Conversation 29 Sec PSA

Talking to someone about getting help can be difficult. This video introduces some tips to help you start the conversation.

Recommended Content:

Real Warriors Campaign | Psychological Fitness | Suicide Prevention

inTransition PSA Insights providers video

Video
6/17/2021
inTransition PSA Insights providers video

In this video health care providers talk about the importance of helping service members maintain continuity of care as they encounter a change in status.

Recommended Content:

inTransition Videos | Psychological Fitness

inTransition Long PSA Doorknob video

Video
6/17/2021
inTransition Long PSA Doorknob video

This video shows health care providers who treat service members discussing how service members can maintain their mental health treatment as they experience a change in status.

Recommended Content:

inTransition Videos | Psychological Fitness

inTransition PSA: Insights - Families video

Video
6/17/2021
inTransition PSA: Insights - Families video

This video shows families of service members discussing how inTransition helped their loved ones maintain their mental health care treatment during changes in status.

Recommended Content:

inTransition Videos | Psychological Fitness

inTransition PSA: Maze video

Video
6/17/2021
inTransition PSA: Maze video

This video explains how to navigate the switch to a new mental health care provider when you’re experiencing a change in status.

Recommended Content:

inTransition Videos | Psychological Fitness

inTransition PSA Blocks video

Video
6/16/2021
inTransition PSA Blocks video

This video explains how the inTransition program can help with change in military status

Recommended Content:

inTransition Videos | Psychological Fitness

inTransition Profile video: Retired Army Captain Joel Serrano

Video
6/16/2021
inTransition Profile video: Retired Army Captain Joel Serrano

Captain Serrano discusses how important the InTransition program has been for him and can be for other veterans.

Recommended Content:

inTransition Videos | Psychological Fitness

Men’s health focus on the mental, physical & emotional health aspects

Article
6/8/2021
Military personnel during physical training

Screenings and regular check-ups help keep you mission ready.

Recommended Content:

Men's Health | Men's Health | Psychological Fitness

Mental Health Panel Discusses Impact of COVID-19

Article
6/3/2021
Military personnel wearing face mask speaking on a panel

Walter Reed Bethesda hosts mental health panel to discuss the impacts of COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | | Psychological Fitness

Mental Health: What Works for Me

Video
5/27/2021
Mental Health: What Works for Me

As Mental Health Awareness Month comes to a close, the Military Health System highlights some of the ways people can manage their mental health. From limiting social media to seeking professional help, your mental health is important. Make sure you take care of yourself.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health: Seeking Care with TRICARE | Mental Health: Seeking Care with TRICARE

Service members share what works for them to relieve stress

Article
5/27/2021
Military personnel in a yoga pose

Military Health System personnel share what works for them to relieve stress and maintain their mental health.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health: Seeking Care with TRICARE | Stress

DOD/VA Collaborated to Combat Mental Health Challenges Women Face

Article
5/25/2021
Military personnel putting on a gas mask

In an area dominated by men, the military can still be a harsh environment for women, commanders say.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health: Seeking Care with TRICARE | Women's Health

Stress relief is an important element to mental health

Article
5/24/2021
Military personnel playing with a therapy dog

For Mental Health Awareness Month, we learn how service members relieves their stress.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health: Seeking Care with TRICARE | Centers of Excellence

Reducing the stigma and encouraging mental health care in the military

Article
5/18/2021
Military personnel wearing face masks talking

A mental health expert talks about the importance of reducing stigma by changing our vernacular to change the culture.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health: Seeking Care with TRICARE | Centers of Excellence

METC trains BHT students in full range of mental health support

Article
5/14/2021
Two servicemembers talking at a table

Military mental health professionals provide a critical role in behavioral health care for service members and beneficiaries.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness | Mental Health: Seeking Care with TRICARE | Education & Training | Medical Education and Training Campus
<< < ... 11 12 13 > >> 
Showing results 151 - 165 Page 11 of 13
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