MILITARY SUPPORT PROGRAM –
CONNECTICUT DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH
AND ADDICTION SERVICES
The following text is provided by
the Military Support Program at DMHAS.
Military personnel and their families often
experience adjustment issues at distinct phases
related to deployment. These problems may occur
during the alert, mobilization, and deployment
phase, or upon return to civilian life. These
military personnel may experience transitory
adjustment problems or more serious problems such
as a result of combat experiences. At the same
time, families are dealing with the stressors
inherent with impending or actual deployment.
In response to the needs of Reserve Component
military personnel and their families, the
Connecticut General Assembly developed legislation
in statute in Sec.17a-453d designed to support
these individuals. The Department of Mental Health
and Addiction Services (DMHAS) has collaborated
with the Office of the Governor, Connecticut
Department of Veterans Affairs (CTDVA), and the
Connecticut Military Department (CTMD) to develop
the Military Support Program (MSP) that will
address a range of problems facing Reserve
Component military personnel and their families as
they prepare for deployment or return to civilian
Confidential, transitional services will be
offered statewide to currently Connecticut Reserve
Component military personnel and their families
who are preparing for possible or actual
deployment in support of Operation Enduring
Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF), or
those military personnel who have recently
returned from deployment. The program will offer
solution-focused support and counseling referrals.
More specifically, the MSP will have the following
Support services will be available statewide
through a provider network of specially trained
clinicians when services are unavailable or not
covered by insurance through the Department of
Defense or Veterans’ systems. These services will
include counseling for post-traumatic stress
issues and family counseling and transitional
support. Connecticut’s Reserve military personnel
and their family members will be eligible for
The counseling services will be managed through
an Administrative Service Organization (ASO).
Determination of service eligibility, screening
for needed clinical or support services, and
linkage to appropriate mental health or addiction
services will be coordinated through this unit.
Recipients may also be referred for follow-up to
DMHAS providers or VA providers as needed.
This transitional support model would include
informal meetings with military personnel and/or
their families who request this service. For
instance, this support may involve help on “single
parenting” or “the transition home” for troops and
their families. These supports might be helpful
for Reserve Component military personnel who are
not part of formal support groups.
An oversight unit at DMHAS will work with the
Administrative Service Organization (ASO) to
oversee the triage, referral, and supports for
military personnel and their families. This unit
will include two DMHAS staff and one ASO staff
person. This unit will serve as the direct link to
the CTMD Family Support Program (FSP), Family
Readiness Groups (FRG’s) associated with any
Connecticut-based Guard/Reserve units, and CT
Division of Veteran Affairs and Federal Veteran’s
Administration services. Each Reserve and National
Guard unit will have a designated staff person
from the oversight unit as a liaison.
The toll-free number to access services for the
MSP is 1-866-251-2913,
ask for Veterans Services.
Web site: www.ct.gov/msp
How does this program meet the needs of the
Troops and their families?
- Emotional needs of the military personnel and
their families: the pre-deployment, being away
at war and coming home are all stressful events
for the troops and their families. The
experiences of stress, anxiety, and fear can
take it toll. The needs of the troops and
families often manifest months after one of
- Concerns about confidentiality: troops or
their families may be wary of seeking help if
they think it will affect their military career.
This service information will be kept separate
from the VA and military systems.
- Not knowing where to turn: troops and family
members may not know what is available or how to
navigate the system. The MSP will have linkages
with the Connecticut Department of Veteran
Affairs and their Office of Advocacy and
Assistance to ensure coordination of benefits
and necessary services. Connections with the
Federal VA health network in the state have also
been established through this unit.
- Ambivalence about seeking services:
individuals may feel more comfortable talking
with a supportive person in a non-clinical forum
as a bridge to obtain services. The MSP
“Community Clinician” staff provides problem
- Getting lost in the systems: Individuals may
need advocacy to obtain their necessary
services. The MSP will have relationships with
different providers and systems to advocate for
the troops and their families. Our job will be,
with their permission, to follow up to ensure
their needs were met.
- Systems of Care may appear faceless and
impersonal: The MSP will imbed Community
Clinicians with the Family Readiness Groups (of
the National Guard) to give a real person whom
they can turn to when they are ready.
- Specialized care for troops and their
families: Support services will be available
statewide through a provider network of
specially trained clinicians when services are
unavailable or not covered by insurance through
the Department of Defense or Veterans’ systems.
These services will include counseling for
post-deployment stress issues, family counseling
and transitional support.
- Insurance Coverage: The MSP is a transitional
service and will operate as the payor of last
resort. Whenever there is insurance coverage
available, MSP staff will assist the individual
to maximize this coverage for their needs. We
will endeavor to get individuals and family
members help in a timely fashion.
SOURCE: Connecticut Department of Mental Health
and Addiction Services
POSTED BY: 211/tb
CONTENT REVIEWED: May2013