TriWest offers military members help when adapting to change

  • Published
  • By Brian P. Smith
  • TriWest Healthcare Alliance
Sure, some parents can effortlessly change their child's diaper in the middle of the night, in the dark, with one hand, in the car or while they're driving (although not recommended).

Some changes are not that easy. Military families regularly face deployments, moves and other transitions.

"Families will see a range of reactions to the changes taking place at home," says Dr. Blake Chaffee, TriWest Healthcare Alliance vice president of integrated health care services. TriWest manages the TRICARE benefit in the 21-state West Region.

"It's important that parents know there are local and online resources available that complement TRICARE's comprehensive behavioral health benefit for both parents and children," he said. These include self-help and educational resources as well as local support available in-person or over the telephone.

TRICARE allows eight self-referred behavioral health office visits for active duty family members each fiscal year (Oct. 1 to Sept. 30). Continuing TRICARE coverage, with the required referrals and authorizations, includes up to two behavioral health sessions per week in any combination of individual, family or group sessions. 

Five Great Online Resources

1. The Behavioral Health Portal at includes articles and links to resources to help parents better understand and work through a child's potential behavioral issues, including depression. At, select "Beneficiary" and then "Behavioral Health" from the "In the Spotlight" menu.

2. Produced by TriWest, the Help from Home video series is available to beneficiaries in the TRICARE West Region at no cost. Order the two-DVD set or view the videos online through TriWest's Behavioral Health Portal. The series offers advice from behavioral health experts and military families who have experienced the challenges of deployment and reintegration.

3. Military kids face unique stress at school, including mid-school-year moves. The Military Child Education Coalition at has tools and resources available to help the family make a successful transfer.

4. TriWest partnered with the National Military Family Association to produce "10 Things Military Teens Want You to Know," a collection of stories, quotes, tips and resources for those who want to better understand their world. Visit for more information and to request a copy.

5. Sesame Workshop's Talk, Listen, Connect program is designed for military families (with children ages 2 to 5) experiencing deployments, homecomings or a parent's combat-related injury. Download the videos, discussion guides and activity materials from Sesame Workshop at  

More resources are available through the family programs office at your installation and at