Mental health is health: Resources available

  • Published
  • Defense Health Agency

Being healthy is more than just being physically healthy. It includes mental and emotional well-being as well. Mental health challenges can affect anyone at any age and stage of life. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mental health challenges among youth are on the rise nationwide.
Are you preoccupied, low energy, or feeling angry or sad? Perhaps your sleep or eating habits have changed.

Some early signs of possible mental health problems that are interfering with your (or a loved one’s) daily routine?

  • Eating or sleeping too much or too little.
  • Pulling away from people and usual activities.
  • Having trouble concentrating.
  • Having low or no energy.
  • Feeling numb or like nothing matters.
  • Having unexplained aches and pains.
  • Feeling helpless or hopeless.
  • Smoking or drinking more than usual.

These are just a few symptoms of underlying mental health challenges. If left untreated, they could affect your physical health.
“We encourage all TRICARE families to be aware of the important role mental well-being plays in living a balanced, well-integrated life,” said Dr. Krystyna Bienia, clinical psychologist, and senior policy analyst at the Defense Health Agency. “If you feel like things aren’t right, take action as soon as possible to work with your doctor to see what services are right for you.”
TRICARE Covered Mental Health Services
TRICARE covers a variety of medically and psychologically necessary mental health services and substance misuse care for families during times of stress, depression, grief, and anxiety. These services can help you get care to keep you balanced, in both mind and body. No matter what health plan you have, you don’t need a referral or pre-authorization for most outpatient mental health care, and you can make an appointment with any TRICARE-authorized mental health network provider. If you need help finding a mental health provider, you can use the Find a Doctor tool or call your TRICARE regional contractor.
If you think you have a mental health emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number. Or go to the nearest emergency room.
You need immediate help if you’re experiencing any of these signs: 

  • Thinking about hurting or killing yourself.
  • Looking for ways to hurt yourself.
  • Talking about death, dying, or suicide.
  • Self-destructive behavior, such as substance misuse or risky use of weapons.

If you or a loved one need immediate help, you can dial 988 to reach the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline and select option 1 to be connected to the Military Crisis Line (or Veterans Crisis Line). Send a text to 838255. Or start a chat online. The crisis line is free and available 24/7 to help you and connect you with the resources you need.