You have competing responsibilities in your life, including work, family, friends, and social commitments. With so much to balance, it can be easy to lose perspective and neglect yourself. A lack of life balance may be even more pronounced if you must assume more than your typical share of responsibilities during a deployment. Carving out space in your life for a little “self-care” and “me time” may take a concerted effort, but it could pay dividends for your psychological well-being.  

Mental health involves bringing balance to your life — mind, body, and spirit. Just like with physical health, you may be able to improve your mental health with practice. 

Tuning in to how you feel and how you take care of yourself is a great first step. Are you getting enough sleep, exercise, and down time? If not, consider what small tweaks you can make in your daily life to tend to your overall well-being.

Still, sometimes lifestyle changes aren’t enough. If mental health issues interfere with your daily life, it’s important to seek help. Signs of mental distress might include feeling anxious, worried, depressed, or unhappy. You may also notice changes in your weight, appetite, sleep, or substance use habits. 

There are many resources you can turn to if you want to talk or learn about what mental health care options are available for you and your family. Remember, reaching out is a sign of strength.

88th RD Yellow Ribbon strengthens resiliency through reintegration

U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers and their families participate in a training session during the 88th Readiness Division’s Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program event, which addresses mental health issues, in Schaumburg, Ill., July 22. (U.S. Army photo by Catherine Carroll/Released)

Seeking Mental Health Care

As a Service Member or a family member, your physical and mental health care is valued and covered by your military benefits. If you need mental health care, seek it. Treatment works and recovery is possible. 

TRICARE provides mental health services for you and your dependent family members during times of stress, depression, grief, anxiety, or mental health crisis. You can learn more about covered treatments at www.tricare.mil/CoveredServices/Mental/Treatments.

The Military & Family Life Counseling (MFLC) Program supports Service members, their families, and survivors with non-medical counseling worldwide.  For more information, contact your installation’s Military and Family Support Center, visit
www.militaryonesource.mil/military-and-family-life-counseling, or call 1-800-342-9647. 

Military OneSource counselors are available for free, short-term, confidential, non-medical counseling services for a wide range of issues from marital conflicts and stress management to coping with a loss and deployments. For more information, visit www.militaryonesource.mil or call 1-800-342-9647. 

Psychological Health Center of Excellence (PHCoE) advances excellence in psychological health care, readiness, and prevention of advances excellence in psychological health care, readiness, and prevention of psychological health disorders The Psychological Health Resource Center is available 24/7 at 866-966-1020. You may also live chat at www.realwarriors.net/livechat. 

Suicide Prevention

“Pain is real, but so is hope.” 

If you or someone you know has suicidal thoughts, get help immediately. 

Military Crisis Line: Call the Military Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and press 1, text 838255, or confidentially chat online at www.veteranscrisisline.net/get-help/chat with a Military Crisis Line counselor. 

Real Warriors Live Chat: A trained health resource consultant is ready to talk, listen, and provide the guidance and resources you seek — confidentially, 24/7. Call 1-800-273-8255 or login to Real Warriors Live Chat at www.realwarriors.net. 

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: If you’re in suicidal crisis, call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or TTY: 1-800-799-4889. This hotline is a 24-hour, toll-free suicide prevention service available to anyone. You will be routed to the closest possible crisis center in your area. Your call is free and confidential.