One of the issues that is involved in stress counseling for the military is that many of the specialties and jobs in the military are combat and battlefield oriented. As a rule, many of these specialties are machismo or macho in orientation, and weakness of any sort is perceived as a liability. It is because of this reason that many of the members of the military that are suffering from stress or battle fatigue that could benefit from getting counseling simply don’t, they do not want to be perceived by their peers as weak or as anything less than a strong, vibrant member of their unit. The stigma that is self-imposed in many of these situations can be pretty harsh.
There are some options. One option is to go to a TriCare Facility that is off the beaten path so to speak. Sometimes there are facilities within a reasonable travel distance that are not directly associated with your unit, base or location. This helped keep your visits or counseling more private, and it will help keep others with no reason to be made aware of your desire to get counseling in the dark. This is a great idea for keeping your business and counseling private, as well as a smart choice to not avoid counseling.
Another option is to contact the “Give an Hour” organization. It is a group of therapy and counseling professionals in a network nationwide, who provide at no cost for the patient an hour of counseling at a time. It is an organization that was started to provide support for returning veterans and Servicemembers who return from active duty but who need to have support counseling assistance. Getting counseling is not a weakness, but a positive, pro-active action that helps with unit readiness and personal health by sharing and working through stress and crisis related issues.
The advantages of Give An Hour is that the Servicemember is able to receive professional, accessible counseling that gives them perspective and an ability to solve their mental health concerns without being labeled, or being identified as weak. This option is entirely free from the chain of command, and is a real quality of life option for those seeking the ability to solve their issue without being seen as weak or soft.