New peer-support service helps Soldiers, Families


p6_be-thereWASHINGTON – On Oct. 21, the Defense Department launched a new call and outreach center that offers confidential peer support to active duty service members, National Guardsmen, reservists and family members through 24/7 chat, phone and text.

The Department of Defense “BeThere” Call and Outreach Center is staffed by peers who are veteran service members and family members of veterans. The center aims to provide support for the everyday problem-solving of career and general life challenges.

“We are honored to support our service members and their families as they get connected to needed resources through the support of those who have also served our country,” said Wendy Lakso, the Defense Suicide Prevention Office’s director for outreach and education.


“This new initiative recognizes the unique challenges faced within the military community, promotes awareness, reduces the stigma and provides solutions for breaking through barriers when it comes to seeking help.”
TriWest Healthcare Alliance administers the BeThere Call and Outreach Center in 50 states and four U.S. territories and provides worldwide service through live chat. The company has supported the TRICARE program for active duty service members and their families and currently administers the Veterans Choice Program for former service members within 28 states.

“It is a privilege to again serve alongside the Department of Defense in providing quality services to support those who wear the cloth of the nation and their families,” said Dave McIntyre, president and CEO of TriWest.
“This unique population deserves and will receive our full focus in offering high-quality, easily accessible assistance. We thank DOD and their Suicide Prevention Office team for the confidence in allowing us to come to their side to contribute to their efforts through this important new initiative.”