Tricare extends Web-based mental health counseling demo

Enrollees can use the Internet and a webcam for online consultations with mental health counselors

A demonstration project that links enrollees with mental health counselors via the Internet has been extended through March 20, 2011.

The Tricare Assistance Program allows enrollees to use the Internet and a webcam to speak “face-to-face” with mental health counselors 24 hours a day, seven days a week from the privacy of the beneficiary’s computer, according to the Tricare Management Activity (TMA).

The TRIAP demonstration program is available in the United States to active-duty service members, those eligible for the Transitional Assistance Management Program and members enrolled in Tricare Reserve Select. It is also available to spouses of any age and other eligible family members 18 years of age or older.

TRIAP provides supportive counseling or advice when beneficiaries are dealing with personal problems that affect their work performance, health or well-being. Services include assessments, short-term counseling and, if the TRIAP counselor determines more specialized care is necessary, a referral to a more comprehensive care, TMA said. Eligible beneficiaries can use TRIAP counseling services an unlimited number of times and no referral or prior authorization is needed.

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