If you know an eligible TRICARE beneficiary who might be needing counseling for various problems or disorders, such as having a hard time transitioning back into civilian life, PTSD or depression, find out more here.
Why is Counseling Needed?
Many combat veterans and soldiers may find themselves facing the need of urgent help in the form of counseling. The TRICARE health care program also caters to the specialized needs of such individuals. There may be a number of different reasons why soldiers may require counseling upon their return to the United States.
During the time they spend serving in the military forces, soldiers face all kinds of traumatic and daunting situations. They are away from home, and from the comfort and luxury that life at home and family is able to offer. They may be deployed in a war zone, where the only sound they hear is that of gunshots and of people crying. Death is something they see on the regular; their fellow soldiers, for example, may die in front of their eyes. They are also witness to numerous other war crimes that the average human being cannot even begin to accept. For this reason, a returning soldier may be victim to post traumatic stress disorder, which is commonly referred to as PTSD.
Different people are affected by the disorder to different extents; how resilient the soldier is as a person and the kind of upbringing he’s had can also determine how he will be affected. When a returning soldier is undergoing PTSD, it is crucial for the health care system to provide the right kind of counseling that he needs at that time and ease the situation that he is currently in by providing an accepting and compassionate environment. In addition to this, many returning soldiers also find themselves giving in to depression; this may be because of their experiences in the military forces in a war zone or the difficulties that they experience once they attempt to return to normal life.
Returning to normal life is very difficult for soldiers upon their return for a number of different reasons. They may find it hard to accept that normal life can carry on as it is while a war is waging on the other side of the world. They may find it hard to understand what their purpose in life now is. Any person who has served in the military forces will become accustomed to the structure and regimentation that the military enforces upon its members, which makes it even harder for people to return to everyday life.
Another problem that many soldiers are plagued with is that of finding work. If an individual is unemployed, it can have a severely negative impact on his self-esteem. In the past, it has been seen that homelessness can also occur. Furthermore, in order to put their past behind them and get rid of the traumatic moments that keep on replaying in their minds, they may turn towards the use of other substances, such as drugs and alcohol. This means that there is the potential of substance use turning into a substance abuse disorder, which then comes with its own problems.
In light of the various problems that an individual returning from the military forces can potentially find himself victim to, it is imperative to provide proper counseling to those who need it. This would prevent the development of mild problems into a full blown disorder and would also help to alleviate the symptoms of an individual undergoing a mental health disorder.
Which Treatments are covered by TRICARE?
TRICARE provides coverage for those mental health treatments that are considered to be necessary for an individual.
Different types of psychotherapy procedures are covered by most TRICARE health plans, such as one-on-one therapy (which takes place on an individual basis), as well as conjoint therapy, which takes place together with another individual. A person can also opt for group therapy sessions, family therapy or collateral therapy. Furthermore, the health care plans also provide the benefit of play therapy, as well as psychoanalysis. However, if a person has a mental disorder due to any sexual malfunctions, then psychotherapy to treat this disorder will not be covered by TRICARE.
If a person has a substance abuse disorder and it is medically proven that he or she needs to undergo treatment for it, then TRICARE can cover for that as well. For example, treatment procedures that are necessary for detoxification and rehabilitation are usually covered. In addition to this, any family therapy or group-based outpatient therapy are also covered by the TRICARE health care plans.
In certain cases, if a person is undergoing a mental disorder, it may be necessary to incorporate the rest of the family into the treatment procedure as well. This is known as family therapy and is covered by the TRICARE health care plans, both on an inpatient or outpatient basis. There are certain limitations involved; for example, for outpatient therapy, a person can have two sessions at most with his or her family. Once eight family therapy sessions have taken place, then for further sessions, authorization is needed from the relevant regional contractor. For inpatient therapy, an individual can opt for receiving individual or family sessions and can have a maximum of five sessions per week.
TRICARE health care plans also provide coverage for applied behavioral analysis (ABA), which is a treatment process that is used to cater to people who have any disorder from the Autism spectrum. Furthermore, counseling services are also provided for people with eating disorder treatments, if it is considered to be necessary medically. Counseling services are also provided to people who are suffering from depression, as is sometimes the case with soldiers who have returned and are trying to resume normal life.
The type of mental health care services that a person is capable of receiving depend on his or her health care plan. While some individuals may only be entitled to the facilities that are provided by on-site medical centers, others can opt for any treatment provider that is a member of the network of TRICARE providers.