People sometimes need a little help dealing with life's ups and downs. You can get professional help through Military OneSource's confidential video non-medical counseling — remote counseling sessions that can help you take control of life's challenges and learn healthy coping skills from the comfort of your own home. This is also a great resource to take advantage of when you or your loved one is deployed.
The Department of Defense, through Military OneSource, makes confidential, non-medical counseling available to service members and their families to work on issues such as adjustments, marital problems, parenting, stress management, or grief and loss. The program provides free, personalized support for everyday military and family life challenges.
Video non-medical counseling is provided by a mental health professional with a master's or doctoral degree (in psychology, counseling, social work, or marriage and family counseling) and a license to practice independently. You need a video-enabled computer or mobile device to use this service, though a phone can be used for the audio portion of the counseling sessions.
Video non-medical counseling offers:
- Confidential and short-term services for active-duty members, National Guard and reserve service members, their families and survivors.
- Several formats, including real-time, face-to-video sessions with a consultant for those who can't attend in person.
- A secure platform that lets people transfer information over the internet in real time.
- Ability for you and your non-medical counselor to see and hear each other throughout the session.
- Sessions from 45-60 minutes.
Video non-medical counseling sessions are available between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, and 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. ET by appointment to accommodate for OCONUS time zones.
Confidential help for children and youth
Military OneSource offers confidential help for children and youth, too. They can receive help with issues that include, family relationships, school issues, adjustment to deployment or separation, and grief and loss. Although kids aren't eligible for video, online or telephonic non-medical counseling, they're eligible for face-to-face non-medical counseling.
- Youth, ages 13 through 17, are eligible for individual, face-to-face counseling through Military OneSource, but a parent must attend the first session.
- Military children ages 6 through 12 can be seen in a family counseling context with at least one parent attending each session.
- Very young children (0- through 5-year-olds) aren't eligible for face-to-face confidential, non-medical counseling under the Military OneSource program.
Military OneSource stands by its commitment to safeguard the privacy of people who use confidential, non-medical counseling services:
- Information isn't released to commanders or anyone else without the user's consent. The only exceptions to confidentiality are legal and military requirements to report child abuse, spouse abuse, elder abuse, sexual assault involving service members, threats of harm to self or others, and any present or future illegal activity.
- A family member can use non-medical counseling sessions without the service member's knowledge, and a legal guardian of a service member's dependents can also use it. The service member or other eligible family members could still use their own 12 sessions.
- Both parties are responsible for keeping video conversations private; although Military OneSource uses the most up-to-date technology to securely transfer information over the internet, the confidentiality of your video conversations or the privacy of your location can't be guaranteed. You're responsible for keeping your location private and your email and passwords secure.
Issues not covered by video non-medical counseling
Confidential non-medical counseling doesn't address issues such as active suicidal or homicidal thoughts, Family Advocacy Program cases, sexual assault, child abuse, domestic violence, or alcohol or substance abuse. Military OneSource can provide you with referrals to other appropriate services as needed, such as military treatment facilities, community services or TRICARE.
Call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 to arrange for video counseling.