Events in Afghanistan as the Taliban takes over the country are heart wrenching and chaotic. Quiet Professionals is closely monitoring the situation in Afghanistan and coordinating support and resources to help translators, Americans, and allies displaced or impacted by these events.
Many of us are wondering what we can do to help.
As our President and CEO Andy Wilson says, “Know that the situation in Afghanistan isn’t over once we get the families out. They will need help soon. They will be starting with nothing, in a new culture, no shelter, no clothing, not knowing the language, no support. You can help.”
However, many veterans and service members are grieved by events that involve friends and colleagues in that area. Many of us are questioning whether our efforts and sacrifices in that region have had the intended effect.
TRICARE has put together a list of mental health care resources for those who need them.
Please note that the TRICARE website itself seems to be overwhelmed by users right now. In the interests of sharing the information in a timely fashion, we are reposting the same information here.
Talking About Afghanistan — We’re Here To Help
Current events in Afghanistan have left many in our community feeling understandably upset. The mental, physical and emotional wounds are deep. You may be wondering about the impact of your sacrifice and service, or the service of those who deployed there.
You are not alone. Remember that what is happening now does not minimize or negate the experiences of all who served there. Countless answered the call of duty and did what was asked of them. Service is never for naught. Think about the times when valor and courage changed lives for the better. Or, focus on the present and what feels meaningful to you in this moment.
If you’re feeling this way, it will take time to process your feelings. Talking can be very therapeutic, whether it’s to a local chaplain, psychologist or someone you served with in the military. Do what feels right for you. There is not one way to think or feel or act. The important thing is to take advantage of available mental health care resources.
Remember that this is one moment in time and regardless of what comes next, we will get through it together.
The following resources are available:
- The Real Warriors Campaign aims to break down the stigma associated with mental health care and encourages service members to reach out for help when they need it. Find articles with support resources, video profiles with service member and veteran stories, and materials to download or order.
- The Psychological Health Resource Center is available 24/7 for service members, veterans, and family members with questions about psychological health topics. Trained mental health consultants can help callers access mental health care and community support resources in their local area. Click on the link or call 1-866-966-1020 for assistance.
- The inTransition Program is a free confidential program that provides specialized coaching and assistance for service members, National Guard members, reservists, veterans, and retirees who need access to mental health care when relocating to another assignment, returning from deployment, transitioning between active duty and reserve component, preparing to leave military service, or any other time they need a new mental health provider, or need a provider for the first time. Click on the link or call 1-800-424-7877.
- The Military Crisis Line, text-messaging service, and online chat provide free VA support for all service members, including members of the National Guard and Reserve, and all veterans, even if they are not registered with VA or enrolled in VA health care. Click on the link to chat, call: 1-800-273-8255 and press 1, or text: 838255.
- TRICARE offers mental health care to all its enrollees. Click on the link to find out how and to find other links to mental health providers through the TRICARE network.
- Military Medical Treatment Facilities often provide mental health services, including integrated behavioral health clinics. Contact your primary care manager to see if this resource is available at your local MTF. If it is, you can schedule an appointment same day.
- Military OneSource can provide access to confidential Military Family Life Counselors in your community. Click on the link or call 1-800-342-9647.
- Military OneSource also provides resources so you can manage stress and access benefits and tools that will help you stay strong in body and mind. This page provides access to self-care mobile applications developed within the Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs, and other partners. All mobile applications are free and for iOS and/or Android devices.
- Visit these Health.mil and Tricare.mil Military Health System web pages for more information.
Quiet Professionals will be posting more information about the situation in Afghanistan soon.