Holiday mental health issues merit respect

| December 23, 2016 | 0 Comments

News Release
Holidays are a time when families come together to eat good food and spend quality time. However, they can also be a time of stress – whether you are worried about having enough money, hosting the largest family get-together of the year or traveling long distances.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is important to give yourself a break from holiday stress from time to time to keep from feeling overwhelmed.

Helpful tips
The American Psychological Association has some helpful tips for making it through the holidays with your mental health intact.

Self-care. First, even though you feel pressured to be everything to everyone, you can’t do everything alone. Everyone will benefit from you taking some time for self-care. Your break can be as simple as taking a walk, getting a massage or taking time to read a new book.
Make sure to get a full night’s rest as often as possible. Slowing down will actually give you more energy.
Resiliency. You should also have realistic expectations because no holiday celebration is perfect. Use a lopsided tree or burned dinner as an opportunity to show how resilient and flexible you are. Mistakes are often what make memories.
Make sure to also remind your children that holidays aren’t about expensive gifts, especially if their wish lists are outside your budget.
Realistic expectations. Remember that you are celebrating your holidays with your loved ones, and that is what makes holidays special. You don’t need elaborate decorations or gourmet food to create a cherished memory.
Communicate. Finally, if you are feeling anxious, talk to your friends and family. Open and honest communication will help you figure out your feelings and find a solution for your stress. You may also want to consider seeing a psychologist or other trained mental health professional if holiday stress is getting you down.
If you have a mental health emergency go to the nearest emergency room that provides emergency services to patients who need immediate medical attention, or call 9-1-1.
If you just need someone to talk to, there are crisis lines available 24/7.
TRICARE recently updated its mental health coverage and reduced many of its mental health care cost shares and copayments. For more information, go to the Getting Mental Health Care page on the TRICARE website.

Listen to this week’s podcast to hear information about binge drinking, VLER HIE, staying fit during the holidays. Visit the TRICARE Media Center at

Cholesterol screening encouraged



News Release
Cholesterol plays an important role in your heart’s health, but unfortunately, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 73.5 million adults have high cholesterol.

Cholesterol is made by your liver. It is used to make hormones your body needs and to digest fatty foods. It is found in many foods you eat, such as egg yolks, fatty meats and cheese.

If you take in more cholesterol than your body uses, the extra cholesterol builds up on the walls of your blood vessels.

This makes it harder for blood to flow to your heart and other organs, which can lead to health problems such as coronary artery disease (CAD), the most common kind of heart disease in the United States.

Children, young adults and older Americans can have high cholesterol. Risk factors for high cholesterol include diabetes, lack of exercise, poor diet, obesity and genetics.

Since there are no signs or symptoms of high cholesterol, for some, the first sign of CAD is a heart attack.

The only way to know if you are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease is to get your cholesterol checked through a simple blood test. TRICARE covers cholesterol testing every five years in adults age 20 and over, as recommended by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Talk to your primary care manager (PCM) for more information on preventive screenings and how to remain heart healthy. Prime beneficiaries may receive clinical preventive services from the PCM or any network provider without a referral or authorization at no cost.

If you use TRICARE Standard, cholesterol screenings are only covered when combined with an immunization, breast, cervical, colorectal or prostate cancer screenings.

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Category: Health

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