Chairman tells servicemembers it's okay to get help

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The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff wants service members to know it is okay to get help for behavioral health-related conditions. In a new video spotlighting Tricare's behavioral health care benefits, Adm. Mike Mullen sends a strong message to servicemembers struggling with feelings of stress, anxiety or depression.

"If you feel as though you or a close family member needs help, please don't wait. Tell someone," Admiral Mullen said. "Asking for help may very well be the bravest thing you can do."

In the four-minute video at, Admiral Mullen urges troops to tell someone in their chain of command if they are having difficulties working through stress from deployments or the demands of military life. These are issues all servicemembers may have at one time or another and, Admiral Mullen said, by ignoring them servicemembers can hurt not just themselves, but their family, friends and fellow servicemembers.

"The truth is, many people are reluctant to seek counseling because they fear the stigma attached to psychological or emotion problems," Admiral Mullen said.

To avoid that, Tricare's new mental health options allow beneficiaries to seek help in a more private manner. The Tricare Assistance Program brings short-term professional counseling assistance straight into the home. Beneficiaries with a computer, Web cam and the associated software can speak "face-to-face" with a licensed counselor over the Internet at any time of the day or night.

TRIAP is available in the United States to active duty servicemembers, those eligible for the Transition Assistance Management Program and National Guard and Reserve members enrolled in Tricare Reserve Select. It also is available to their spouses of any age, and to other eligible family members 18 years of age or older.

The video also features Marine Corps Sgt. Josh Hopper, who shares his experiences with seeking help for post-traumatic stress disorder after two deployments to Iraq. Hear more of his story and others at

Visit to see the chairman's message and learn about behavioral health care options available through Tricare.