For millions of military families, the holidays are the perfect
time to embrace new and old traditions, and reconnect with relatives
Military families, however, face unique challenges during the
season, especially when a loved one is away.
Dealing with deployment can be difficult during the holidays.
When everyone else seems to be talking about giving thanks and
counting blessings, many servicemembers and their families end up
feeling lonely, angry and sad. While they are proud of their service
to the country, military families also deal with unique financial and
emotional challenges. Often, the pressure to have the
"perfect" holiday can aggravate anxiety and cause stress.
This holiday season, take advantage of the free, anonymous,
online and telephone mental health self-assessments program (MHSAP)
available year-round for military personnel and their families.
These self-assessments are available for military
servicemembers and their families at http://www.MilitaryMentalHealth.org
and/or by calling toll-free (877) 877-3647.
The self-assessment contains a series of questions that, when
linked together, help create a picture of how an individual is feeling
and whether they could benefit from talking to a health professional.
Once the self-assessment is completed, the individual receives
information on how to get help including services provided through the
Department of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Affairs. The program, funded
by the DoD, is available to families in all branches, including the
National Guard and Reserve.
Questions included in the online self-assessment are:
Have you lost pleasure in things you used
Do you have trouble sleeping or eating?
Does your mood fluctuate between overly
"high" to sad and hopeless?
Are you keyed up and anxious all the time?
Are you having nightmares about something
that happened in the past?
Do you suffer from unexplained aches and
This holiday season, take care of your family by taking stock
of your emotions and seeking help if life is especially stressful. The
self-assessment is the first step to caring for those you love by
To access the anonymous program, visit http://www.MilitaryMentalHealth.org
or call (877) 877-3647.
The MHSAP is offered to more than 1.5 million military families
affected by deployment in all branches, including the National Guard
The program is designed to help families and service personnel
identify their own symptoms and access assistance before a problem
The tests available address depression, bipolar disorder,
generalized anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder and
After an individual completes a self-assessment, she/he is
provided with referral information including services provided through
the DoD and Veterans Affairs.
The program, part of DoD continuum of care, is fully funded by
Force Health Protection and Readiness, Office of the Assistant
Secretary of Defense, Health Affairs.
(Submitted by Mental Health Self-Assessment