Mental Health Care
Mental health care is an important TRICARE benefit, and we want to make sure you have all the information and resources you need. The information below summarizes benefits available through the TRICARE programs and other resources.
Prior Authorization and Referral Requirements
To determine if a service requires an approval from Health Net Federal Services, LLC (HNFS), use the Prior Authorization, Referral and Benefit Tool or talk with your provider. If you are seeing more than one provider, it is important to keep all providers informed so they are aware of any medications and treatment you may be receiving.
If you need mental health care, talk with your primary care manager (PCM) or family doctor. Your PCM can provide an initial assessment and may even be able to provide treatment. From there, your PCM can recommend additional treatment, if necessary, with the appropriate mental health provider to suit your needs.
Visit TRICARE's Getting Mental Health Care - Selecting a Provider page to learn about different provider types and the treatment they can provide.
Written Referral and Oversight of Care
If you want to seek treatment from a supervised licensed pastoral counselor, a supervised mental health counselor or a supervised licensed professional counselor (LPC), a physician (MD or DO) who may or may not be your PCM, must provide you with a written physician referral (also known as a script) prior to the initial consultation with the provider. The referring physician must make an initial assessment and determine if the condition can be appropriately treated by a supervised licensed pastoral counselor, supervised mental health counselor or supervised LPC. In addition, the referring physician must agree to provide oversight for your treatment. Your PCM may provide this assessment and written physician referral or your PCM may request you meet with a psychiatric physician first. The psychiatric physician can then determine if one of these counselors is right for you and provide the written physician referral.
Learn about common mental health diagnoses, symptoms and treatment.