Tricare offers at-home confidential counseling

| February 10, 2011 | 0 Comments

Alexandra Hemmerly-Brown
Army News Service

Tricare

Tricare

WASHINGTON — With proactive behavioral health care for service members a top priority, military health care leaders stressed the merits of the Tricare Assistance Program, Feb. 1.

In existence since 2009, the Tricare Assistance Program, or TRIAP, offers 24-hour confidential counseling for those needing immediate help, or those who may not want to visit a behavioral health practitioner in person.

“We want to make getting help as easy as possible,” said Navy Rear Adm. Christine Hunter, deputy chief, Tricare Management Activity. “We all are concerned about how our service members are coping, given everything that’s asked of them, every single day.”

Active duty members and their families, reserve component Soldiers using Tricare Reserve Select and Soldiers coming off a deployment are eligible to use TRIAP. Service members need Internet access, a webcam and Skype software to use TRIAP. If troops don’t have access to the technology, they can connect with a counselor via phone or chat.

When logged on, service members will be connected to a licensed mental health counselor, who will assist them during one or two sessions, or if needed, refer them to a specialist. Currently, the program is only for adults, and for short-term, non-medical concerns.

Hunter added that part of the appeal of the program is that service members might never know what time of day they might need help, and with TRIAP, help is instant. There is no need to wait until morning or until a weekday.

“The important message is to get help, wherever that may be,” Hunter said. “We want people to share their stresses, to lighten their load and to get help when they need it.”

The program has now been extended until 2012.

For more information, or to use the program, go to www.tricare.mil/triap and follow the instructions for contacting a counselor.

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Category: Army News Service, Community, Health

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