New Peer Support Program Offered by Military OneSource

150702-N-FQ994-059  GAETA, Italy (July 2, 2015) Sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) heave mooring lines as the ship ports in Gaeta, Italy. Ross is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robert S. Price/Released)

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robert S. Price/Released

While talking about stress may seem intimidating, having the support of someone who has “been there” can take the stress out of finding the resources you need. That’s one of the benefits of peer support, which leverages similar experiences and collaboration between individuals to create a forum for exploring positive coping strategies. Peer support can promote wellness, healthy stress navigation, stronger social connections, and improve overall quality of life—all built upon a foundation of Trust (one of the Principles of Resilience). The unique qualities of peer support, from the level of authenticity felt when speaking with someone who can relate, to the relaxed recovery-oriented approach to providing advice and resources, make this a key avenue for seeking help for life’s challenges outside of more traditional treatment settings.
Military OneSource now offers confidential peer-to-peer support for active duty service members, guardsmen, reservists (regardless of duty status), and their families. The service, accessible 24/7 by dialing the Military OneSource support line at 800-342-9647, offers callers an outlet to talk through stressors and get connected with the right resources, with the help of those who understand the stress of military life first-hand.

Service members and families who seek the support of Military OneSource’s peer support consultants can expect to speak with a caring, qualified peer with personal experience navigating their own stress as a military retiree, active duty or reserve service member, or military spouse. Consultants are not medical or clinical care providers—helping to keep conversations relaxed and relatable—but do have a minimum of a master’s degree and have been trained in best practices in peer support by the Defense Centers of Excellence. They’re available to listen without judgment, provide advice if desired, and connect callers with specific resources to help them make the most out of their military life.

Whether calling due to financial, family, or career-related stress, engaging peer support is a positive step toward proactively navigating challenges, promoting personal and mission readiness. Peer support services don’t just make connections or referrals to resources. They can help service members and families feel more comfortable speaking about life’s hurdles and overcome the internal and environmental barriers that can often get in the way of seeking help. Peer support also offers reciprocal benefits, providing consultants with the opportunity to grow from their own personal challenges by helping callers withstand, recover and adapt from their own—building resilience together.
Using this or any of Military OneSource’s confidential support services will not negatively affect a service member’s career and information will not be shared. While not intended as a crisis line, consultants will connect callers with immediate resources if an emergency is imminent, ensuring that everyone gets the support they need when they need it most.

For more information on this new service, visit Military OneSource or check out this article from Department of Defense news. To speak with a peer consultant at Military OneSource, call 1-800-342-9647.

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