By Edward Brown, Non-Medical Counseling Program Office Director
Military Community and Family Policy
As a retired Air Force colonel and four-time commander, I’ve had the privilege of leading airmen, civilians and their families in the states and abroad, and from my personal experience, the one constant in life is that everyone needs help sometimes, especially when military life presents added challenges. Now, as the director of the Non-Medical Counseling Program Office, I can assure you that whatever you’re going through, Military OneSource’s confidential help services can help. Whether you’d like to talk about struggles you’re facing or just need guidance for a specific part of your life, such as finances or your career, convenient, free help is available to you.
Military OneSource’s non-medical counselors are professionals with master’s or doctoral degrees who are ready to talk about anything you’re going through. Sessions are offered face-to-face, over the phone, through video chat or online (similar to instant messaging). You can choose a format that’s comfortable for you and easily works around your schedule for times that are convenient and offer you the most privacy. Up to 12 sessions per subject are free for military family members.
Other counselors can guide you through particular issues – even if you just need documents translated or could use some help planning a budget for your family’s expenses. Consultations cover a wide range of topics:
- Family and Relationships: Confidential and customized support with relationships and family life to help navigate family benefits, parenting and the process for adopting a child.
- Financial and Legal: Money management, tax preparation and translations of legal documents.
- Health and Wellness: Coaching in achieving your personal health goals, and assistance with nutrition, stress and wounded warrior care.
- Education and Employment: Help identifying the right schools, programs and careers for service members, military spouses and military kids.
- On- and Off-Base Living: Personalized moving plans, peer-to-peer support and help adjusting to life on a new installation.
- Deployment and Transition: Support relocating to new installations, transitioning to civilian life and managing the emotional impact that changes can have on you and your family.
All of these services are confidential, from the moment you first reach out. Military OneSource support is offered to active-duty service members, National Guard and Reserve members without regard to activation status, retired and honorably discharged service members (up to 180 days after separation), immediate family members and survivors. Don’t be afraid – seeking support shows strength.
While Military OneSource doesn’t offer crisis or trauma-related counseling, our intent is to connect service members and their families to the resources they need before it becomes a crisis. After 14 years of war, involuntary separations, continued high “OpTempo” for the troops who remain and emerging new missions, a concentrated focus on prevention with respect to our military families is critical.
If you do see a family member, friend or co-worker in crisis, please contact the Military Crisis Line (also called the Veterans Crisis Line) at 800-273-8255 and press “1.”
We want to ensure the military community is aware of the valuable resources available through Military OneSource and to use it when needed. Military OneSource has been augmenting support services to service members and their families since 2002. Confidential help is just that – assistance with life’s little (and sometimes big) challenges all day, every day of the year.
Reaching out for support can often prevent an emotional or personal challenge from turning into a more serious issue, or just make managing day-to-day life easier. Connect with Military OneSource today by visiting the website or calling 800-342-9647.
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