According to a study by Defense Centers of Excellence, peer support programs work well for the military, partly because the military culture emphasizes taking care of one another. In a recent behavioral health survey of more than 28,000 Active Duty military personnel, talking with friends and family was the second most common coping strategy for dealing with stress, with 73% responding to using that strategy frequently or sometimes.
If you or a loved one needs to talk, Marines and their families can contact the DSTRESS line when they find themselves in crisis or in need of support.
The Marine Corps DSTRESS Line, established in August 2010, provides non-medical counseling services to Active Duty and Reserve Marines, attached Sailors, and their families. Spouses and children over the age of 18 can call at any time. Children below the age of 18 can call if a parent is present and consents to the conversation. If Marine veterans OR retirees call for information and resources, counselors will help assess the level of stress and stabilize the current crisis, and then refer that person to the most appropriate resource (e.g., Vet Centers, VA hospitals, Military OneSource, or other community resources). Moms, dads, and/or other family members who are not beneficiaries can call the DSTRESS Line as well; their participation can help increase resilience within the Marine family.
DSTRESS provides 24/7 anonymous phone, chat, Skype and referral services using a ‘Marine-to-Marine’ approach to assist with everyday stress or the heaviest burdens in life. The call center is staffed with veteran Marines, Fleet Marine Force Navy Corpsmen who were previously attached to the Marine Corps, Marine spouses and other family members, and licensed behavioral health counselors specifically trained in Marine Corps culture.
DSTRESS Line’s goal is to help callers improve total fitness and develop the necessary skills required to cope with the widely varying challenges of life in the Corps. DSTRESS is available in CONUS and OCONUS locations by toll-free phone number 877.476.7734 or 098.970.7734 (Japan), Skype, or chat through www.dstressline.com.
Did you know that September is Suicide Prevention Month? This year, the Headquarters Marine Corps Suicide Prevention Program (MCSSP) created the hashtag and graphic, “#BeThere_Marine,” in support of the Defense Suicide Prevention Office “BeThere” campaign theme.
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The willingness to have the hard conversations is key to assisting our Marines and getting help so they can continue to thrive.