WASHINGTON - Soldiers, Army civilians and their families in need of crisis intervention now have two resources to call for assistance, as the Army has identified Military OneSource and the Defense Center of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury as primary phone and online services to support our Army community.
The Military OneSource crisis intervention line supports active-duty, National Guard and Reserve servicemembers and their families, 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Professionally trained consultants assess a caller's needs and can refer them to health care professionals for follow-up, face-to-face counseling.
The Military OneSource toll-free number for those residing in the continental U.S. is 1-800-342-9647, their Web site can be found at http://www.militaryonesource.com. Overseas personnel should refer to the Military OneSource Web site for dialing instructions for their specific location.
Another key crisis intervention resource available for our Army community is the DCOE Outreach Center. The Outreach Center is staffed 24/7/365 by health resource consultants with the latest information on psychological health and TBI issues and who can connect Soldiers, family members and veterans with agencies that promote recovery, resiliency and reintegration.
The DCOE Outreach Center can be contacted at 1-866-966-1020, via electronic mail at Resources@DCoEOutreach.org and at http://www.dcoe.health.mil/resources.aspx.
"We want to get the word out and identify Military One Source and the DCOE Outreach Center as primary resources for those who need help," said Brig. Gen. Colleen McGuire, director of the Suicide Prevention Task Force.
"Leaders, mental health professionals and public affairs officers should include this in their messaging and support at the local level. I would love to see this toll-free number posted on every Army Web site," she said.
Army leaders are taking a proactive approach to connect Soldiers and families in crisis situations with the right services. The idea behind these measures is that mitigating crises early on can help Soldiers appropriately handle the unique stresses they will face, McGuire added.
"What we need to continue working on the hardest is to find new ways to bring (mental health care providers) down to a level where Soldiers have easier access to them," said Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, Army vice chief of staff.
"Our next step is to ensure that we disseminate the Military OneSource toll-free number and the DCOE Outreach Center toll-free number to Soldiers, civilians and family members through all possible media and have it posted in every venue," said Col. Jon Dahms, chief of planning support in Army Public Affairs. "We need these numbers staring everyone in the face so they can get the help when and where they need it most."
Dahms recommends Army Web sites integrate a prominent banner or message into their current layout showing the toll-free numbers and the message "In need of crisis intervention and support? Do you or someone you know need help? Call 1-800-342-9647 or visit Military OneSource at http://www.militaryonesource.com, or call 1-866-966-1020 or visit the DCOE Outreach Center at http://www.dcoe.health.mil/resources.aspx."