Learn about our goals, our vision, and the leadership team that strives to extend mental health support to the National Guard community.
The mission of the National Guard Psychological Health Program is to advocate, promote and guide National Guard members and their families by supporting psychological fitness for operational readiness.
To honor the commitment our nation has made to protect the American people by ensuring the National Guard’s soldiers and airmen have the resources and ability to master psychological health challenges in their lives.
The Psychological Health Program aims to:
- Provide high-quality services that are National Guard member-specific, friendly and comprehensive, while typically increasing state/territory utilization rates to promote National Guard member readiness.
- Assist National Guard program managers and supervisors to improve a National Guard member’s readjustment to civilian life by managing professional services and/or overseeing an individual’s mental health needs.
- Provide consultation and support to help address organizational and individual health care situations which have a detrimental effect on the National Guard member’s reintegration to civilian life.
- Offer consultative guidance and support to state and territory National Guard senior management on state-specific mental health needs based on Guard member demographics and mental health status.
- Provide National Guard-oriented mental health training throughout the full spectrum of the deployment cycle.
Services will be offered in every state and territory and are tailored and delivered according to the needs of each individual through various combinations of psychological health resource identification, communication of applicable benefits, and other counseling services within the state and military system framework. Initial contact will have a greater emphasis on assessment, referral and resource identification; for example, connecting the National Guard member or family member with a confirmed appointment or other mental health resource. Services that address longer term or more complex problems will also receive support through the appropriate health care provider.
Among the programs offered is inTransition. This free and confidential program from the Department of Defense provides specialized coaching and assistance to active-duty, National Guard and reserve members, veterans and retirees who need mental health care during a transition, such as returning from deployment or preparing to leave military service.
Challenges we address
The Psychological Health Program was designed to address the unique challenges that National Guard members face:
- National Guard armories and wings are community-based and seldom within the catchment area of military treatment facilities.
- All care is received through TRICARE, Veterans Health Administration and private health insurance through a Guard member’s or spouse’s civilian employer.
- National Guard members live the life of a civilian prior to and following deployment. Most train once a month in a small unit that does not have embedded mental health workers; they must rely on community resources to assist them in their readjustment.
- We recognize that traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, mental and emotional disorders, alcoholism and/or other drug abuse are treatable conditions. Anyone suffering from these conditions should receive assistance.
Services are available to individual National Guard members to help with the resolution of personal problems, and enhance the ability to balance and manage both work and other life responsibilities, and improve operational readiness and civilian work performance.