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Behavioral Health Resources for Service Members and Veterans

The Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) Psychological Health Center of Excellence (PHCoE) provides psychological health expertise to the military community by continuing to improve psychological health care, readiness, and prevention of psychological health disorders. PHCoE utilizes Implementation Science, which helps clinicians implement empirically supported treatments and provides Clinical Support Tools which assist providers in the use of Department of Defense (DOD)/Veterans Administration (VA) clinical practice guidelines for psychological health conditions, including provider, patient, and family guides.

PHCoE provides Prevention and Outreach Support to clinicians and the military community in the prevention and early detection of psychological health disorders through its inTransition program and the Psychological Health Resource Center (PHRC). The PHRC is a 24/7 resource center for service members, veterans, family members, and providers seeking psychological health resources, in addition to other resources. The inTransition program is a free, voluntary, and confidential coaching program that can help connect any service member or veteran with behavioral health care, regardless of discharge status, time in service, or time since separation. inTransition can bridge potential gaps during a service member or veteran’s transition to a new provider or it can provide guidance for someone seeking care for the first time. inTransition is a telephonic program that is available globally 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The inTransition coaches assist with identifying each service member or veteran’s needs, helps to create an action plan to meet those needs, navigate the appropriate health care system(s), and provide additional support resources as needed.

The bulk of inTransition’s cases involve service members separating from service. This transition from military to civilian life can be a very difficult time. Service members have a vast number of changes to make in their lives and the lives of their families. It is not a surprise that Service members and veterans often put their behavioral health care, or health care in general, on hold while meeting the challenges of this life transition. Veterans listed their top five difficulties associated with transitioning to civilian life as (Zoli et al., 2015):

  • Navigating the VA’s system of care (60%)
  • Obtaining a job (55%)
  • Adjusting to civilian life (41%)
  • Financial issues (40%)
  • Skills translation (39%)

 Of the eligible veterans to receive behavioral health care with the Department of Veterans Affairs from 2002-2015, only 62% of those obtained VA health care (Dept. of Veterans Affairs, 2015). Post-9/11 veterans that do not seek mental health support at the VA do so for three main reasons (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2018):

  • They don’t know that the VA offers mental health care benefits.
  • They are unsure how to apply for VA mental health benefits.
  • They are unaware of their eligibility status with the VA.

inTransition can help eliminate these deterrents from getting connected to behavioral health care and assist with the other above needs as well. The inTransition coaches are familiar with and trained in military culture. They can help service members and veterans find transition-related resources (i.e. employment, financial, VA benefits, etc.) and are experienced in navigating the VA medical system.

The need to maintain or get connected to behavioral health care is vital. The inTransition Program is available 24/7/365 to assist service members, veterans, and providers on how to navigate the path for a successful connection to care.

Visit www.pdhealth.mil/intransition or call:

800-424-7877: Inside the U.S.
800-424-4685: Outside the U.S. toll-free
314-387-4700: Outside the U.S. collect

 

References:

Analysis of VA Health Care Utilization among Operation ... (2015). https://www.publichealth.va.gov/docs/epidemiology/healthcare-utilization-report-fy2015-qtr1.pdf

C. Zoli, R. Maury, & D. Fay, Missing Perspectives: Servicemembers’ Transition from Service to Civilian Life — Data-Driven Research to Enact the Promise of the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Institute for Veterans & Military Families, Syracuse University, November 2015)

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Evaluation of the Department of Veterans Affairs Mental Health Services. 2018. doi:10.17226/24915

 

Published:
05/05/2021
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The opinions expressed herein are the views of the authors and do not reflect the official position of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), SAMHSA, CSAT or the ATTC Network. No official support or endorsement of DHHS, SAMHSA, or CSAT for the opinions of authors presented in this e-publication is intended or should be inferred.

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