Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

Dealing with Post-Combat Issues

Mental health resources for service members and families

By Shari Lopatin

TriWest Healthcare Alliance

Whether gone for two months or two years, returning from combat is grueling.

Airmen at Peterson Air Force Base readjusting back into society need time to recover from the stress of a highly charged war zone. Most will adapt after some time; however, if problems continue and interfere with daily activities, it’s time to seek help from a healthcare professional.

If these Airmen don’t find help when they or a family member suspect a problem, their symptoms may worsen, causing a spiral of reckless or self-destructive behavior, domestic problems, career challenges and even death.

TRICARE offers behavioral health benefits for eligible beneficiaries who need it.* Beneficiaries enrolled in TRICARE Prime may receive the first eight behavioral healthcare outpatient visits per fiscal year (Oct. 1 – Sept. 30) from a TRICARE network provider without prior authorization from their regional contractor.

Active duty service members (ADSMs) should always seek care first at a military treatment facility (MTF), when available. ADSMs must have a referral from their primary care manager (PCM) and have prior authorization from their regional contractor before seeking behavioral healthcare services outside the MTF. ADSMs enrolled in TRICARE Prime Remote may call TriWest to help obtain authorization for civilian behavioral health care.

TriWest Healthcare Alliance offers a number of additional resources for Airmen and their families at Peterson who are coping with depression, PTSD or other post-combat struggles:

  • “Help From Home” Video Series: Available at no cost via streaming video or as a 2-DVD set on, this series offers advice from behavioral health experts who are also combat veterans and military families that have coped with effects of PTSD. Find it at> beneficiary services>behavioral health>Help From Home.
  • Behavioral Health Portal at Find articles and links to additional resources on a variety of topics spanning from children’s behavioral issues to dealing with depression or suicide. Find it at>beneficiary>behavioral health
  • TriWest Crisis Line (1-888-284-3743): Accredited by the American Association of Suicidology and staffed with specially trained clinicians, this support line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for anyone struggling with depression, PTSD or thoughts of suicide, including family members concerned about these signs in a loved one.
  • Suicide Prevention Action Network (SPAN) USA Brochure: What You Need to Know about Warning Signs and Getting Help: Information about the signs of depression or other concerns that may lead to suicide. Find it at>beneficiary>handbooks and brochures/

Here are a few additional places to find help, separate from TriWest:

  • The National Resource Directory: Links to resources for recovering service members, veterans, their families and caregivers at
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (273-8255).

*This is not a detailed list of benefits. For more comprehensive information about behavioral health support or benefits, visit or call 1-888-TRIWEST (874-9378).

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