Military Service
& Mental Health

Military life can foster resiliency and independence. It can also present mental and behavioral health challenges to service members and their families. Scroll for more.

Mental health challenges are significantly higher among military members than civilians.<sup>17</sup>

Mental health challenges are significantly higher among military members than civilians.17

Service members and their families report fears for their safety, which can increase feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression.<sup>18</sup>

Service members and their families report fears for their safety, which can increase feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression.18

Many feel anxious or overwhelmed by deployment-related challenges and responsibilities.

Many feel anxious or overwhelmed by deployment-related challenges and responsibilities.

Frequent relocation can put stress on military families. Leaving behind support networks and jobs can result in challenges like stress and anxiety in their new locations.

Frequent relocation can put stress on military families. Leaving behind support networks and jobs can result in challenges like stress and anxiety in their new locations.

Children and teens may experience mental health challenges related to relocating to new towns and schools and remaking friends.

Children and teens may experience mental health challenges related to relocating to new towns and schools and remaking friends.

Substance use disorders (SUDs) affect many among the military personnel and veterans, and are associated with numerous physical and mental health challenges.

Substance use disorders (SUDs) affect many among the military personnel and veterans, and are associated with numerous physical and mental health challenges.

The Department of Defense reported 40,000 cases of domestic violence between 2015 and 2019, 74% of which were physically violent—a higher rate than in civilian families. Many instances go unreported. Exposure to violence can lead to mental health challenges, like anxiety and stress, and increased feelings of fear and lower self-esteem. If you or anyone you know is experiencing domestic violence please call 911 or the The Access and Crisis Line Line at (888) 724-7240 for support 24/7.

Common Mental Health Challenges

Learn More About Mental Health

Resources That Help

Military members may feel pressure to hide their mental health challenges. As of 2014, talking with a doctor about your mental health concerns, asking for a diagnosis, or seeking treatment will not affect your career—even if your doctor must disclose information.20 You can learn more at the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Use Our Resource Tool
The Access and Crisis Line at (888) 724-7240 provides support 24/7. Experienced counselors can answer questions about mental health and substance use, provide referrals, offer support and crisis intervention. In the case of a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.
Courage to Call | Phone: 211

This program is a Veteran-run, peer-to-peer support program in San Diego County, providing free and confidential services to active and former military members, reservists, National Guardsmen, their families and loved ones. The program connects callers with referrals to resources and support to reduce stress and improve overall mental health. These services are provided off-base in a safe and private atmosphere.
Suicide Prevention, Substances,
& Substance Use Disorders
There are many factors that can affect mental health. Get in-depth information and tips when it comes to suicide prevention, substances, and substance use disorders.
17 Schoenbaum, Michael Ph.D., National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md., and colleagues, 3 Studies, Editorial Examine Mental Health Issues in Army, Published online March 3, 2014. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2013.4417.
18 The Mental Health Needs of Veterans, Service Members and Their Families, American Psychological Association, Education Directorate,https://www.apa.org/advocacy/military-veterans/mental-health-needs.pdf, Retrieved July 2021
19 Schoenbaum, Michael Ph.D., National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md., and colleagues, 3 Studies, Editorial Examine Mental Health Issues in Army, Published online March 3, 2014. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2013.4417.
20 Veterans And Active Duty, NAMI, https://www.nami.org/Your-Journey/Veterans-Active-Duty, Retrieved July 2021