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Counseling strengthens self, community

U.S. Air Force illustration/Airman 1st Class William Tracy

U.S. Air Force illustration/Airman 1st Class William Tracy

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.— For Schriever service members –such as Airman Snuffy, fresh out of tech school on their first assignment here at Schriever – who may be having a hard time adjusting to the military lifestyle, or may have problems at the workplace, at home or with a relationship, or just need someone to talk to - what are your options?

Luckily for Airman Snuffy and others, there are a wealth of ways to seek counseling for help with the struggles of their daily lives.

“We can all use advice and guidance about life situations, life can be hard, and it never hurts to seek support,” said Katie Civiletto, Give an Hour program specialist.  Give an Hour is a counseling program, which provides military members, veterans, and their loved ones free therapeutic services in person, on the phone and through video.

“Counseling helps individuals achieve a greater level of mental fitness helping improve their performance in their workplace and in their domestic life,” she said.

There are a variety of free counseling services available to military members; all they have to do is seek their services, said Jessica Schroeder, Schriever community support coordinator.

“One of the strongest things you can do is ask for help,” said Schroeder.

Military counseling programs aren’t just limited to base installations either, said Schroeder.

“We have counseling options completely outside the Department of Defense within the Colorado Springs community,” she said. “There are also options you can access online and other means. Some, like military and family life counselors, can meet you at a predefined locations.”

Schroeder says some may be apprehensive about seeking counseling services, but the benefits of dealing with problems are more preferable to keeping them sealed away untreated, with the possibility of causing problems in the future.

“Counseling offers us the ability to address issues, rather than let them remain,” she said. “It’s better to not let them get pent up.”

Schroeder added someone doesn’t have to have problems in their lives to seek counseling.

“Sometimes, you just need someone to listen,” said Schroeder. “Someone who is outside of your circle of friends and family who can offer a different perspective.”

 

Keeping oneself mentally healthy is part of upholding a crucial pillar of Comprehensive Airmen Fitness, a foundational building block that can lead the way to positive impacts in life, changes for the better that can benefit Airman Snuffy and all those who feel like they need help.

“It’s positive to seek treatment; counseling can help refine individuals, helping them give their best,” said Civiletto. “Having access to mental healthcare is essential to the overall well-being of our community.”

Here is a list of some of the free counseling options available for Schriever Airmen on and off base, for a complete list, visit your first sergeant or any of the helping agencies.

50th Space Wing’s Chaplain’s Office – (567-3705)

Session limits: none

Can see: no military status required (civilians and military members of any status are eligible); no marital status required (married couples, non-married couples, family relationships, etc.)

100% confidentiality.  Offer couples counseling, pre-martial counseling and general relationship counseling, to include family relationship counseling.

 

Family Advocacy Strength-based Therapy (556-8943)

Session limits: none

Can see: married couples where at least one person is active duty

 

Fort Carson Child and Family Behavioral Health System (503-7070)

Session limits: 6-12 or longer as needed

Can see: Couples as long as one member is a DOD ID card holder

Marriage and family therapy services to improve relational patterns and reduce distress

 

Give an Hour – (www.giveanhour.org)         

Session limits: none

Can see: military, veteran, or a loved one (marriage not required)

Limitation is service providers in local geographical area as provider time is donated and fluctuates based on provider availability

Phone and video counseling also available

Members are required to see a therapist in the state in which they reside due to licensure considerations

Providers able to conduct counseling sessions over the phone or via a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996-compliant virtual technology platform

 

Military and Family Life Counselor – (719-651-1640)

Session limits: 12 sessions per issue

Can see: anyone in a relationship (marriage or otherwise) with an active duty member (or active duty retired within 180 days)

 

Military OneSource – (800-342-9647)

Session limits: 12 sessions per issue per rolling calendar year

Can see: married couples (as long as at least one person is active duty, Air National Guard or reserve) or a non-married couple if both are active duty, ANG or reserve.

Dynamic video small group discussions: members/spouses are able to see, text, chat with licensed counselors.

 

Regis University

Session limits: none

No military status required

Therapist interns are part of 12-month Marriage and Family Therapy internship program

MFT interns supervised by licensed and credentialed supervisors

If couple seeks care for four months or greater, may need to switch therapist interns due to interns graduating program after 12 months

Locations

Regis University campus (7450 Campus Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80920).  No fee at Regis University location.

 

USO Oxygen 365 – (Oxygen365.com)

Session limits: none

Who qualifies: Active duty and loved ones receive free premium membership; Air National Guard, reserve and their loved ones receive free regular membership.

Offers customized growth plans for couples and access to relationship expertise through video podcasts.

 

VetCenters – (602 South Nevada Avenue, 719-471-9992)

Session limits: none

Who qualifies: active duty, veteran, or activated reservist and his/her significant other. In order to qualify to be seen, veterans need to have experienced a combat-related deployment, worked in military treatment facility and been exposed to frequent trauma patients, or operated Unmanned aerial vehicles.

Relationship counseling needs to be connected to the experiences veteran/member has experienced (i.e., post-combat readjustment, trauma, etc.)