You are not alone.
Army Reserve Soldiers are pretty special people. In addition to taking on the responsibilities that everyone else in your community has, you’ve decided to serve your country as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States. As a citizen soldier there is a lot expected of you. You may have a civilian career, or are going to school, or both! You may have a busy family life or people depending upon you for help. And then there’s the time you’ve got to invest in your military career. That’s a lot! When life throws curve balls we handle it pretty well, but when we get hit with more than one at a time it can challenge even the strongest and most resilient person.
How can you tell if you need help?
Some of the things that you might experience that could be telling you that you need help are sleep problems, and that could be anything from too much sleep, not being able to sleep at all, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. You may be irritable or angry without knowing exactly why. Withdrawing from family and friends, drinking alcohol for anxiety, to sleep, or to forget are huge signals that something is wrong. Other things can include eating too much or too little, lack of motivation, and one of the biggest things - ANXIETY! A general rule to use is this: If something about your mood, thoughts, or behaviors has changed lately, and it’s uncomfortable, it may be a good time to speak to someone.
Who can you talk to?
Talking to someone about what you are going through is definitely going to help. When you are dealing with things by yourself you don’t get the benefit of feedback, so it can be more difficult to sort things out and come up with solutions. If you’ve taken too much on you might need to figure out what changes or adjustments you can make in order to ease the stress. If you can’t make changes then maybe you need develop some inner strengths and coping skills to get you through the tough times. Talking to friends and family for support is great and it does help, but sometimes it isn’t enough, and that’s where we come in. Talking to one of our professionals about what is going on can help point the way to long term relief. Most often that will be to recommend you see a behavioral health provider, like a therapist or prescriber, and if you’ve never done that before you’d be amazed at how much better you can feel. Just knowing that you are not alone can bring immediate relief.
How does it work?
You can start by calling one of our staff of licensed social workers. Find your regions contact by looking to the right side of our website. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and are in a crisis, please call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255 (press 1 for the service member line).Unless there is a serious reason to tell someone about your issue then we won’t. What we talk about is confidential. Serious issues are usually things like intent to harm self or others, child abuse, and domestic violence. And we’ll tell you if we are obligated to report something you’ve told us. We discuss options with you and try to link you to the service that will benefit you.
Will the Army Reserve pay for it?
That’s probably one of the most frequently asked questions. How you access behavioral health care is based upon eligibility. Eligibility is determined by your military service. If you have a service connected issue then yes, you may be able to get military sponsored treatment to address it. A service connected issue means that the issue was directly caused by something you experienced while on a duty status. If you are a veteran you may be able to access care at the VA. If you don’t have a service connection to your issue or don’t qualify for VA care, then we may be able to help you to find something in your community. If you have insurance we’d start there. If you don’t have insurance you may qualify for state sponsored insurance. And there are many organizations that offer free behavioral health care to service members, so we’ll try to find some of those too.
What about the WTU or Active Duty Medical Extension (ADME)?
Warrior Transition Units are designed to provide care and treatment to soldiers with service connected medical and mental health issues that require intensive treatment that would not permit the soldier to be able to work or meet other responsibilities. The soldier is placed on active duty orders and a treatment plan usually requires multiple appointments weekly. For information about this and many other things, you can go to the Warrior Care and Transition website at http://wct.army.mil/ Here you will find information about med boards, disability, treatment options, and much more. It’s a treasure trove of information.
If I disclose my behavioral health symptoms at battle assembly does that make it service connected since I’m on duty when it started?
Not necessarily. If you are at battle assembly or annual training and experience a behavioral health issue, you can submit an In Line of Duty request. It will be reviewed to establish whether or not your military service contributed to or caused your issue. Most of the time there really is not a service connection, because the issues we experience are caused by stress and situations within our civilian lives. It’s a good idea to have realistic expectations about the entitlements for Reserve soldiers. Once we do that we can get about the business of finding the right care for your issue. For more information about LOD and Profiles, the Army Reserve Medical Management Center is the place to go: https://www.usar.army.mil/MedicalManagementCenter/
What if I’ve been referred for a Command Directed Behavioral Health Evaluation (CDBHE)?
Sometimes, other people notice changes in us before we do, whether they notice our behavior has changed, our ability to function has decreased, or maybe our mood has been more down, irritable, or erratic. When this occurs, Commanders may order an evaluation to determine some of the reasons for the noticeable changes and for recommendations moving forward. You will likely be placed on orders to attend the evaluation at a local military treatment facility. This process is an opportunity to help figure out why you or others are noticing these difficulties or changes, and what steps are recommended to help you get back in step. If there are recommendations for treatment, follow them to your best ability. You may need help getting started into treatment or finding the right resource, so give one of our DPHs a call for help.
USAR DIRECTOR OF PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTH
COL Mary Colberg Fort Bragg, N.C.
CPT Josh Tiegreen Fort Bragg, N.C.
Stacey Feig, LPC Fort Belvoir, VA (OCAR)
63rd Readiness Division & 9th MSC
Meg Haycraft, LCSW
Amy Lindsey, Nurse Case Manager
Jill Robinson, Nurse Case Manager
81st Readiness Division & 1st MSC
Donna Brunetti, LPC, LPCC, LMHC
Kwajaleyn Myers, Nurse Case Manager
88th Readiness Division
Deb Olson, LCSW
Bruce Kyllonen, Nurse Case Manager
Martha Serbus, Nurse Case Manager
99th Readiness Division
Patricia Moloney, LCSW
Cindy Delphey, Nurse Case Manager
Maria Zelko, Nurse Case Manager
Army Reserve Medical Management Center (ARMMC)
Rhoda Donnelly, LCSW