Military OneSource Virtual Resources for Well-Being

Military female on smart phone using Mood Hacker application

Current as of September 29, 2020

Social distancing is vital to stemming the spread of coronavirus disease 2019. But being isolated from others can increase stress and anxiety levels.

It’s important to take care of all aspects of your health. This includes your emotional well-being. Military OneSource offers telehealth counseling and virtual support. This allows you to get the help you need while staying safe.

Telehealth services for mental health and well-being

Military OneSource has a team of counselors, consultants and coaches to help you tackle challenges. Connect with them at your convenience online, by phone or by chat. These services are free to service members and their immediate family.

Non-medical counseling

Non-medical counselors offer confidential sessions by secure video, chat or in person. Counselors are licensed and master’s level or higher. Counselors can help with everyday stressors and personal challenges due to COVID-19. Service members and family members who may benefit from non-medical counseling include:

  • Anyone who might be struggling with loneliness, feelings of isolation, stress and anxiety.
  • Couples who find themselves arguing more or not communicating well because of the strain of isolating at home.
  • Parents who are dealing with difficult behaviors stemming from the pandemic. 
  • Children and youth ages 6-17, who might benefit from healthy coping strategies.

Building Healthy Relationships specialty consultations

This specialty consultation offers a number of tracks that are customized to different relationships. Your consultant will help you identify the track – or tracks – that are right for you. They are:

  • Building Healthy Relationships 
  • Healthy Parent-Child Connections 
  • Communication Refreshers 
  • Staying Connected While Away 
  • Blended Family 
  • MilSpouse Toolkit
  • Reconnecting After Deployment

New MilParent specialty consultations

Welcoming a new baby and parenting a young child can be both exciting and exhausting. This is true even in the best of times. Military OneSource’s New MilParent specialty consultation is here for you.

This program offers confidential support for military parents with children up to age 5. It’s also available to expectant parents. A New MilParent specialty consultant can help with your parenting questions. The consultant will also connect you with resources, including those created for military parents. Sessions are available through video or phone at a time that works for you.

Health and wellness coaching

A Military OneSource health and wellness coach can help in a number of ways. Your coach can help you manage stress, deal with life changes or get back on track to healthy eating and physical fitness.

Your coach will help you set goals and create a plan to meet them. Health and wellness coaching is available for teenagers and adults.

Resilience tools and apps

Military OneSource offers a variety of resilience tools and well-being apps. Tap into these to help manage stress, strengthen your relationships and meet your goals.

Resilience tools

Military OneSource resilience tools include:

  • CoachHub, which connects you with experts who can help you set and meet goals.
  • MoodHacker, which lets you track, understand and improve how you’re feeling. 
  • Love Every Day, which connects you with your partner through text-message prompts.

Recommended wellness apps

The Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs and other partners developed apps for service members. You’ll find recommended apps that train you in deep-breathing techniques, positive thinking, problem-solving skills and more.

Support with mental health care

The Department of Defense inTransition program provides specialized coaching for service members, veterans and retirees who need access to mental health care during a transition, such as relocating to another assignment, returning from deployment or preparing to leave military service.

Military OneSource can help you stay healthy in body and mind. Tap into telehealth counseling and virtual support during the pandemic and beyond.

To stay up to date on all the latest information on COVID-19, view the following sites:

 

It’s important to take care of all aspects of your health. This includes your emotional well-being. Military OneSource offers telehealth counseling and virtual support. This allows you to get the help you need while staying safe.

Military and Family Life Counseling Program: What’s New, What’s Stayed the Same

A couple laughing

Current as of May 4, 2020

The Military and Family Life Counseling Program can help you stay strong through life’s challenges, including those due to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. We will offer telephonic and video sessions in areas where face-to-face support is restricted.

What is the Military and Family Life Counseling Program?

Military families face unique challenges, such as deployments and moving. The Military and Family Life Counseling Program offers free, short-term, non-medical counseling to service members, Department of Defense expeditionary civilians, their families and survivors.

Non-medical counselors are available through one-on-one, couple or group sessions to help with:

  • Managing stress and changes at home due to COVID-19
  • Adjusting to deployment
  • Preparing to move or adjusting after a move
  • Strengthening relationships
  • Managing problems at work
  • Grieving the death of a loved one or colleague

What’s new?

The Military and Family Life Counseling Program now offers telephonic and video non-medical counseling. This is available in areas where face-to-face support may be restricted due to COVID-19. Contact Military OneSource for contact information and a warm hand-off to your closest military and family life counselor for telephonic or video non-medical counseling.

What’s the same?

The Military and Family Life Counseling Program is here to support you with free non-medical counseling by licensed master’s- or doctorate-level counselors. Sessions are confidential with the exception of child abuse or neglect, domestic abuse, harm to self or others, and illegal activity.

Counselors who specialize in child and youth behavioral issues are available to support children and teens with non-medical counseling.

Military OneSource also offers non-medical counseling by phone, live chat, video, or face-to-face where permitted. Children and teenagers may meet with a Military OneSource non-medical counselor by phone or video, as well as face-to-face where permitted.

How to get help

Contact your installation’s Military and Family Support Center to set up non-medical counseling through the Military and Family Life Counseling Program.

You can reach a child and youth behavioral military and family life counselor through:

  • A child development center
  • Your installation’s youth and teen center
  • Your child’s public school on or off the installation
  • A youth summer camp sponsored by your military service
  • Your commander or unit training point of contact

To connect with your closest military and family life counselor, call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 for contact information and a warm hand-off. Click here for calling options if you are outside the continental United States.

For Department of Defense updates for the military community regarding the virus that causes COVID-19, visit Defense.gov, follow Military OneSource’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram platforms, and continue to visit the Coronavirus Information for Our Military Community page for updates. Check Move.mil for PCS-related updates.

Non-Medical Counseling for Youth Now Available by Video

Teenager using computer

Current as of March 20, 2020

School closures and the general uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus disease 2019 have affected families everywhere. Children and teenagers who feel isolated from friends and activities may experience a particularly hard time.

Children show stress in different ways. Your child may act out, be sad or fearful, or show signs of low self-esteem. To help your child cope with changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Military OneSource will offer video non-medical counseling sessions for children and teenagers.

What is non-medical counseling?

  • Non-medical counseling is confidential, short-term, solution-focused counseling provided by counselors with a master’s degree or higher.
  • Self-esteem issues
  • Communication and relationships
  • Problem-solving and adjustment
  • Behavioral issues, such as bullying and anger management
  • Changes at home, such as deployment, reunion, divorce and grief

Children and youth services

Children and youth ages 6-17 of active-duty, National Guard or reserve service members, and recently retired or separated service members are eligible for confidential video non-medical counseling through Military OneSource.

A parent must attend each video session for children age 12 and younger, but only be available at the start of each video session for youth ages 13 to 17 to give parental consent.

Conversations in these sessions stay between your child and the counselor. The only exceptions are cases of domestic violence, abuse, and suicidal or homicidal threats. If your child is in immediate crisis, call the Military Crisis Line at 800-273-8255, and press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255.

Arranging non-medical counseling for your child

Call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 to learn whether non-medical counseling is right for your child. View for calling options if you are outside the continental United States. If a consultant determines the service is appropriate, you will be authorized for up to 12 counseling sessions and connected with a non-medical counselor who best suits your child’s needs.

Our understanding of COVID-19 is changing rapidly. Stay up to date by checking Military OneSource’s Coronavirus Information for Our Military Community.

Wounded Warrior Programs

A Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team member stands on first base.

The military has specialized wounded warrior programs designed to help the severely ill and injured transition back to duty or civilian life. Each service branch has its own program. While the programs do not focus on medical issues, they do help service members and their medical teams develop a comprehensive recovery plan that addresses specific rehabilitation and recovery goals.

Wounded warrior program eligibility

Wounded warrior programs are not solely exclusive to service members with combat injuries. They also assist:

  • Service members who are battling serious illnesses
  • Service members who have been injured in accidents and require long term care

Types of support wounded warrior programs provide

Wounded warrior programs provide non-medical support that is tailored to fit the service member’s needs. This support spans from something as simple as helping service members understand their benefits to assisting them with their specialized transportation needs. The program provides services that address:

  • Pay and personnel issues
  • Invitational travel orders
  • Lodging and housing adaptations
  • Child and youth care arrangements
  • Transportation needs
  • Legal and guardianship issues
  • Education and training benefits
  • Respite care
  • Traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress support services

How to enroll in the wounded warrior program

Enrollment into the wounded warrior program varies per branch. Some service branches allow wounded warriors to self-refer into the program. Other service branches require that a medical officer make a program enrollment request on behalf of the service member. Here is a contact list for the various wounded warrior programs:

  • Army: Contact the Army Wounded Warrior call center at 877-393-9058 (overseas DSN: 312-221-9113) or email AW2@conus.army.mil.
  • Marine Corps: The parent command, medical officer, medical case manager or Wounded Warrior Regiment Detachment Officer-in-Charge must initiate the request on behalf of the service member. For more information on the referral process, contact the Wounded Warrior Regiment call center at 877-487-6299.
  • Navy Wounded Warrior – Safe Harbor Anchor Program: Sailors and Coast Guardsmen may self-refer to the program or be referred by a family member, their command leadership, or their medical team. For questions on enrollment eligibility, contact Navy Safe Harbor at 877-746-8563 or email safeharbor@navy.mil.
  • Air Force: Contact the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program Office at 800-581-9437 or email wounded.warrior@us.af.mil.

For additional information contact Military OneSource for a free specialty consultation at 800-342-9647 or click here for overseas calling options.

Understanding Confidential Non-medical Counseling Services

Two service members talking in an office

You never have to be without support. Military OneSource and Military and Family Life Counseling provide free, short-term, confidential non-medical counseling services for a wide range of issues from marital conflicts and stress management to coping with grief and deployment adjustments.

Confidential non-medical counseling is effective for finding answers to common emotional and interpersonal difficulties.

Contact Military OneSource 24/7.

You can get personalized help 365 days a year by telephone and online.

Overseas? See OCONUS calling options.

Prefer to live chat? Start now.

This overview explains the kinds of issues addressed by confidential non-medical counseling and how you can access it.

Eligibility for Non-medical Counseling

Confidential non-medical counseling services are free and available to the following groups through Military OneSource and your installation’s Military and Family Support Center:

  • Active-duty service members and their immediate family members
  • National Guard and reserve service members (regardless of activation status) and their immediate family members
  • Designated Department of Defense expeditionary civilians and their immediate family members
  • Survivors

Review the full eligibility guidelines.

Children and Youth Services

Children are eligible to receive confidential non-medical counseling services under the following circumstances:

  • Children ages 12 and younger may attend face-to-face sessions through Military OneSource with a parent or guardian, but not on their own.
  • Youth, ages 13 through 17, are eligible for individual, face-to-face counseling through Military OneSource, but a parent must attend the first session.
  • Children younger than age 18 are eligible for counseling with a child and youth behavioral military and family life counselor with parental consent.
  • All military and family life counseling with children occurs within line of sight of another adult.

Confidentiality

The non-medical counseling services through Military OneSource and the Military and Family Life Counseling Program are confidential. The Military and Family Life Counseling Program is also anonymous. This means:

  • A family member can receive counseling without the service member’s knowledge.
  • A service member can receive counseling without a family member’s knowledge.

Privacy protections ensure your personal information will not be:

  • Provided to the military or chain of command
  • Shared with family or friends
  • Released to other agencies

Exceptions to privacy include:

  • Duty to warn
  • Suspected family maltreatment (domestic violence, child or elder abuse or neglect)
  • Harm to self or others
  • Illegal activity

Issues addressed in non-medical counseling services

Confidential non-medical counseling addresses issues such as:

  • Adjustments (including deployments)
  • Marital problems
  • Parenting skills
  • Stress management
  • Decision-making
  • Communication
  • Grief and loss

Non-medical counseling services don’t address certain issues. If you need help with any of the following issues, contact the Military Crisis Line (1-800-273-8255 and Press 1).:

Non-medical counseling isn’t suitable for individuals:

  • Prescribed psychoactive medication
  • Receiving therapy with another practitioner
  • Involved in Family Advocacy Program cases
  • Undergoing fitness-for-duty evaluations
  • Undergoing court-ordered counseling

Accessing free counseling services

Face-to-face confidential non-medical counseling may occur in an office setting with a counselor located in the local community or with military and family life counselors on an installation. Military OneSource offers counseling sessions in three other formats:

Hear an example of a call center experience

Service members and their families can request counseling services at any time of the day or night, any day of the year, from anywhere in the world by calling Military OneSource at 800-342-9647. A consultant will assess your needs and give you a referral. You can also access Military OneSource counseling services online.

To speak with a military and family life counselor, contact one of the following:

Whether it’s getting to the next level or juggling responsibilities, we all need help sometimes. Tap into your military network to get the support you need. Confidential non-medical counseling is available to help you manage the stressors of military and family life anytime, anywhere.

How to Cope With a Traumatic Event

Service member paints to help with PTSD

A violent act, catastrophic accident, or sudden loss can leave you feeling anxious and fearful, which are normal reactions. But if anxiety and fears are taking over your or a loved one’s life, you may want to consider professional help. Military OneSource offers confidential, non-medical counseling – face to face, online, by phone or video – along with the Military Crisis Line at 800-273-TALK (8255), and resources for post-traumatic stress disorder. All are available for free.

Reminders and events can trigger post-traumatic stress disorder, bringing back painful memories and emotions for months or even years after the trauma. Learn about common reactions to trauma, some coping mechanisms and ways to help others, along with resources for more information and help.

Contact Military OneSource 24/7.

You can get personalized help 365 days a year by telephone and online.

Overseas? See OCONUS calling options.

Prefer to live chat? Start now.

Common feelings and reactions following a trauma

Traumatic events may cause you or someone you love to experience a range of feelings and reactions, such as:

  • Sadness
  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Irritability
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Disruption of sleep patterns
  • Eating problems increase or decrease

Although these feelings and reactions are normal, you can help yourself or your loved one manage and cope with them so they don’t become overpowering.

Possible coping mechanisms

Coping strategies like these may help you or your loved one recover from anxiety, depression or other post-trauma feelings and reactions that may be impacting your life. Strategies may include the following:

  • Spend time talking and sharing your feelings with people you love. Doing so can put things in perspective, which may make your day-to-day life more manageable. It can also help you focus on positive relationships instead of the traumatic event.
  • Take care of yourself. If you feel well physically, you might manage your feelings and reactions better. Eat healthy foods, exercise moderately, get enough sleep, and take any medications prescribed for you. Avoid using drugs or alcohol to cope – this may lead to you feeling worse over time.
  • Try to stick to your typical, day-to-day routine. It can be a healthy distraction from feelings after a traumatic event. Going back to your home and work responsibilities can renew a sense of purpose and lessen feelings of isolation.
  • Practice stress-relieving techniques. Exercise, journaling, meditation, listening to music and deep breathing techniques are just a few activities that can help relieve stress by focusing your mind on something other than the traumatic event. Try these to find what works best for you.
  • Avoid media coverage of the event for a while. Too many reminders or fixating on the event may heighten your anxiety. If it’s unavoidable, try to watch any news coverage with a friend or supporter and discuss the event or your feelings if you feel comfortable.
  • Don’t be afraid to seek support from friends, family and professionals. Many people also find comfort in their religious beliefs and faith communities during difficult times.

Extending help in times of crisis

If a friend or relative is deeply affected by a trauma, there are ways you can help. People who go through a traumatic event may not get a chance to talk about their feelings and experiences. They might think they don’t need to share their feelings, or they think something’s wrong with them because they’re having trouble coping. Here’s how you can help:

  • Reassure him or her the emotions they’re feeling are a normal reaction to a traumatic event. Remind them fear, anger, hopelessness and shock are common feelings others – possibly even you – have had.
  • Share your feelings. If you experienced a similar event, your insight could be comforting.
  • Invite your co-worker, friend or relative to a ceremony, vigil, religious service or fundraising event. Taking part in efforts to remember or help the victims of a tragedy and their families can bring comfort and a sense of community. Sometimes just being with other people who experienced trauma can help with emotional isolation.
  • Include him or her in your family events and normal daily routines. This can help relieve feelings of isolation.

Each person reacts differently to trauma, so be patient when offering help, and expect a range of emotions and reactions. Check in periodically and let him or her know you’re available for support throughout the coping process.

Resources and support

No one has to struggle alone; in fact, asking for help is a sign of strength. Friends and family can provide a lot of support, but you may also consider seeking help from a counselor or professional therapist.

Free, confidential, non-medical counseling is available 24/7 from Military OneSource, whose consultants can refer service members and their families to services in their local community. Non-medical counseling services are also available face to face, online, by phone or video by calling 800-342-9647. OCONUS/International? Click here for calling options. Your installation’s Family Support Center can also provide confidential, non-medical counseling with Military and Family Life Counselors. Find out how Children and Youth Behavioral Military and Family Life Counselors can help your child cope.

Coping with a traumatic event can be complicated and can take time for you and those you love. You’re not alone. Use your available resources to help you manage and cope with your feelings.

How to Choose a Counselor or Therapist

Woman speaks to counselor.

The military knows that everyone needs help at times and offers a variety of support options to service members and their families. In addition to the confidential, free non-medical counseling available through Military OneSource, there are other types of counseling and therapy available through other avenues. Understanding your options is the best way to make sure you choose the right counselor or therapist for your individual needs.

What’s the difference between non-medical and medical counseling?

During a counseling session, you’ll work with a trained professional who will talk to you about issues you’re concerned with and help you find ways to cope with them. Your sessions can be individual (between just you and your counselor), with another person (such as your spouse) or in a group (perhaps your whole family).

Non-medical counseling, like the free, confidential counseling provided through Military OneSource and the Military and Family Life Counseling program, addresses other issues like:

  • Relationship concerns at home or work
  • Managing stress 
  • Adjusting to change or dealing with a transition
  • Parenting difficulties
  • Dealing with grief or loss
  • Returning from deployment

Medical counseling, which is not provided through either Military OneSource or the Military and Family Life Counseling program, specifically addresses medically diagnosable issues such as:

  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Mental illness
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Child abuse or neglect
  • Domestic violence
  • Thoughts of suicide

If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact the Military Crisis Line at 800-273-8255, then press 1, or access online chat by texting 838255.

Contact Military OneSource 24/7.

You can get personalized help 365 days a year by telephone and online.

Overseas? See OCONUS calling options.

Prefer to live chat? Start now.

What are the different types of counselors?

  • Social workers are trained to understand how people are affected by their environment, including their family and culture.
  • Marriage and family therapists are trained to deal with interpersonal relationships, including family and couple conflicts.
  • Mental health counselors help people cope with a particular concern or difficult life event. Some may specialize in a particular area, such as educational or religious counseling.
  • Psychologists have a master’s or doctorate degree and use different kinds of testing to help identify and resolve problems.
  • Psychiatrists are licensed medical doctors specially trained to assess, diagnose and treat a patient’s mood disorder. They can hospitalize patients and prescribe medication.
  • Certified pastoral counselors are members of the clergy with specialized training in psychotherapy. All service members have access to pastoral counseling by trained, qualified military chaplains through their commands and installations.
  • Licensed professional counselors generally have a master’s degree in counseling or in a related field and provide general mental health counseling services.

Will my counseling sessions be confidential?

Yes, with a few exceptions. State laws or federal and military regulations may require your counselor to report specific instances, such as:

  • Domestic violence
  • Child abuse
  • Threats of self-harm or harm to others

How can I choose the best counselor for me?

Choosing a counselor is a personal decision specific to your individual needs and concerns. Military OneSource consultants, available at 800-342-9647, can help you figure out the best option for you. Regardless of which type of counselor or therapist best suits you, it is important that you find the help you need when you need it.