–By COL Jim Rice, AW2 Director–
The Army is working hard to bring mental wellness to the forefront of Soldier and Family care and remove the stigma from mental health concerns. Suicide is a potentially preventable tragedy that profoundly impacts the Army Family. During the month of August, TRICARE launched two new behavioral health care services. The first is the TRICARE Assistance Program (TRIAP), which allows TRICARE beneficiaries to speak with a licensed counselor 24/7 from the privacy of their own home or any other location of choice that has a computer, internet, and webcam. Eligible beneficiaries are active duty servicemembers, those eligible for transition assistance management program (TAMP) for six months following demobilization, members with TRICARE Reserve Select, as well as spouses and other eligible Family members 18 years of age or older. The second is access to behavioral health services including psychotherapy and medications under TRICARE’s telemental health care benefit. The Vice Chief of the Secretary of the Army also established a suicide prevention task force, of which AW2 is a part. More information will be provided to you in September about this task force.
Please remember our suicide prevention training and the A.C.E. technique in your daily interaction with colleagues, Soldiers, and Families. Visit these Web sites and be prepared to ask the hard questions, your efforts can save lives:
Editors Note: The VA Suicide Prevention Campaign has also launched an on-line chat service that enables Veterans, their Families and Friends to go online and anonymously chat with a trained VA counselor. For more information about this service, please visit http://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/suicide_prevention.