Monday, February 23, 2009

Center helps with psychological health, traumatic brain injury

Center helps with psychological health, traumatic brain injury

2/19/2009 - FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AFNS) -- A new 24-hour outreach center now provides information and referrals to military service members, veterans, their families and others with questions about psychological health and traumatic brain injury.

Operated by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, which falls under Tricare Management Activity, staff at the center are available around the clock, 365 days a year, by phone at 866-966-1020 and by e-mail at

"We're providing 24/7 support to assist callers with questions regarding psychological health and traumatic brain injury," said Brig. Gen. Loree K. Sutton, M.D., director of DCoE. "Getting the best possible information and tools, hassle-free, will empower and strengthen warriors and their families to successfully manage what can be confusing and disturbing circumstances."

The center can deal with everything from routine requests for information about psychological health and traumatic brain injury, to questions about symptoms a caller is having, to helping a caller find appropriate health care resources.

"If we need to research a question, we'll do the legwork and quickly reconnect with callers," General Sutton said. "We welcome feedback on how we can better meet the needs of those we are so privileged to serve."

The DCoE Outreach Center is staffed by health resource consultants and nurses, most with master's degrees. In addition to answering questions, staffers refer callers to contact centers in other parts of the Department of Defense, other federal agencies, and outside organizations when appropriate. Other contact centers also refer callers to the DCoE Outreach Center.

The center serves members, leaders, veterans and healthcare providers of all the uniformed services as well as their families.

DCoE promotes resilience, recovery and reintegration of service members facing psychological health and traumatic brain injury issues, and works to advance research, education, diagnosis and treatment of these conditions. More information is available at

Officials remind Tricare beneficiaries who need help locating and making appointments with behavioral health care providers that there is help. The Behavioral Health Provider Locator and Appointment Assistance Service is available for active duty service members and their enrolled family members living in the United States.

Active duty service members must have a referral from their primary care manager for behavioral health care before calling the managed care support contractor appointment assistance line. The regional toll-free numbers are: West Region, 1-866-651- 4970; North Region, 1-877-747-9579; and in the South Region the number is 1-877-298-3514. Hours vary according to region.

Additional information is available under the mental health and behavior section of the Tricare Web site at

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