Service members and their families who don’t live on or near an installation often seek out military-sponsored events to form connections within their military community and to access additional support. The Military and Family Life Counseling Program offers on-demand non-medical and financial support for those military-sponsored events lasting between one and three days. Events include, but are not limited to: Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program and other deployment support events, drill weekends, family events, annual training and marriage enrichment retreats.
Military and family life counselors, child and youth behavioral military and family life counselors and personal financial counselors are available to provide presentations and confidential counseling sessions for eligible service members, their families and survivors.
Before requesting on-demand support for your next event, consider these five tips to help you get the most out of the experience:
- Make sure on-demand support fits with your event’s purpose. If you intend to educate your audience on specific topics — such as building healthy relationships, deployment challenges, effective communication or other topics within the Military and Family Life Counseling Program’s presentation library or webinars — on-demand support is the perfect fit. All counselors already possess the appropriate education and background to support service members and their families with the challenges of military life.
- Consider where your event is being held. Your event location often helps set the tone for the overall event. Since many of the topics covered in on-demand support are sensitive and confidential, make sure your location has the ability to offer a private space. For example, a training event at an armory may be more appropriate for on-demand counseling support than a unit family day at the park.
- Determine how on-demand support fits with your agenda. Ask yourself what your event attendees need to accomplish during their time at your event. On-demand support should be used as a complement to your agenda, not a distraction. If your event schedule time is limited, you can download program brochures to share with your event attendees. Remember, you can always request on-demand counseling support at a future event when the schedule is more flexible.
- Confirm your event is large enough for on-demand support. In order for an event to be eligible for on-demand support, there needs to be a minimum of 50 eligible individuals attending.
- Decide if having a Military OneSource representative support your on-demand event would be helpful. If your goal is to let service members and their families know what services are available to them, consider requesting a Military OneSource representative for your event. Military OneSource representatives can deliver briefings on all support services available through Military OneSource, including non-medical and financial counseling. They can also set up a resource table, which is a great way to highlight military support services at unit family days and other morale-building events.
On-demand support is a flexible and easily accessible option for service members and their families to receive non-medical and financial counseling. By taking the time to ensure on-demand support is the right fit for your event, you can play an important role in helping more people access potentially life-changing support and resources.