Brad R. Carson, Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness
Most of us look forward to the holidays as a time of good cheer with friends and family. It can also feel stressful, however, especially for those of you responsible for the travel, preparations and finances needed to meet expectations of a joyous season.
The fact is, holidays can be rough sledding. No matter how you think you should feel during the season, sometimes military life can make it tough to find that “holiday joy.” I want you to know that you don’t have to go it alone; Military OneSource is a tremendous resource to help you work through the challenges of the holiday season.
Confidential help is available 24/7/365 through the call center offering personal, non-medical counseling and consultation services via telephone at 800-342-9647, face-to-face or through a secure live video session or online chat. These services are available at no cost to active-duty service members, National Guard and reserve service members (regardless of their activation status) and family members and survivors of all eligible service members.
Masters-level counselors can help with issues such as holiday stress, relationships, parenting, family separation and the ever-popular weight management after holiday eating. And if you don’t want to talk and simply seek information, you’ll find tips and tools you can use on the website MilitaryOneSource.mil.
A major stressor of the holiday season can be finding a balance between generosity and frugality. We want to stay within our spending plan for the holidays, but in addition to gifts, there are other major expenses including travel, holiday greeting cards, postage, special food and decorations. Military OneSource offers certified financial counselors who can walk you through your holiday spending plan and guide you through some longer-term planning.
Military OneSource continues to evolve with the changing needs of military families. Earlier this year, we added peer-to-peer support as a specialty consultation. You can speak with someone who has served, either in uniform or as a military spouse. It’s an opportunity to talk with someone who has “been there.”
Another resource, CoachHub, is Military OneSource’s new mobile coaching solution. You can partner with an online coach to meet your stress management goals and stay on track with online support.
Service members and their families make extraordinary sacrifices for the safety of our nation, each in their own way, and have my sincere gratitude. And so, wherever you are this holiday season, please accept my sincere wishes for a safe and happy holiday season. Don’t let holiday stress get in the way. Remember that confidential help for you and your family is just a call or a click away at Military OneSource. You’ll feel better and will be better equipped to spend a much more enjoyable holiday with your friends and family.
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