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Everybody needs somebody sometime, or so an old song claims. In today’s world of high stress and low down time, this expression couldn’t ring more true for servicemembers and their families stationed abroad.

That’s exactly what the findings of a recent DOD mental health task force suggest when it was reported that accessible, excellent and sufficient resources were simply lacking for those who serve in and out of uniform overseas.

“Stressed” spelled backward spells “desserts” but when you and your family find yourselves plunged into a life of constant turmoil, uncertainty and instability, compliments of an unsettled world and a lifestyle designed to support it, the reality is anything but delicious. It can be downright distasteful.

You don’t need to have a degree behind your name to know that effects of prolonged stress left unattended can easily lead to ruined careers, marriages and lives.

Forget trying to find a new job or grow your career if you have other more pressing issues competing for your mental attention or for the attention of those you supervise, work or play with.

Fortunately, military members and their families stationed in Europe (and soon the Pacific) have a new resource available to them to help deal with any such issues.

Beginning Oct. 15, help will be a toll-free phone call away. Telephonic consultation services will be offered by Military OneSource (www.militaryone source.com), the DOD’s 24/7 information and referral service available worldwide to all active duty, Reserve and National Guard members and their families and to deployed civilians and their families. The number that you call will depend from which country you are calling. If you access the Military OneSource Webpage, the “Need to Talk?” section on the right side of the screen will lead you to a telephone number.

Eligible users can obtain help on topics such as everyday concerns or deployment-related issues. Specifically, this new service will provide up to six free telephone consultations per issue for those stationed overseas.

If you find yourself stationed in the U.S. or Puerto Rico, Military OneSource can provide you a referral for six sessions per issue to professional civilian counselors at no cost to the servicemember or family member.

Great if you’re moving there, right? If you are reading this from your overseas duty station, however, bear in mind that Military OneSource will help you to access the existing services provided through the Medical Treatment Facilities abroad. (Translation: it’s not like being back in the States, but then it’s a whole lot better than what we had before.)

This type of service previously was available only in the continental United States, but efforts by quality-of-life advocates on both sides of the big pond have resulted in its expansion overseas.

Kudos to those trying to make a positive difference where it matters!

Janet Farley is the author of “The Military-to-Civilian Career Transition Guide” and “The Military Spouse’s Complete Guide to Career Success.” Her column appears monthly in Stars and Stripes. She can be contacted at: janetfarley@hotmail.com

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