Marines report five reasons for not seeking help for stress:
- They think stress is a temporary thing.
- They have trouble accessing care.
- They are concerned about the expense of care.
- They think that getting help will negatively impact their unit or their unit will lose trust in them.
- They believe that getting help will affect their security clearance.
Research shows that the more health-related personnel are placed in various locations versus a health care office, the more likely it is that they can be helpful. This is why Headquarters Marine Corps ensures that Operational Stress Control and Readiness (OSCAR) team members are there with you in your unit.
The Combat Operational Stress Control Program trains OSCAR Marines to listen to those in their unit. OSCAR members are there to help you destress. They can relate to your experiences because they have been through similar experiences. If you believe your stress-level is negatively impacting your unit, then this is the time to talk to an OSCAR member. Talking to someone can help reduce your emotional burden. This, in turn, can increase your functioning and help your unit.
If you’re worried that speaking to someone about stress will affect clearance, don’t be. The number of Marines whose status changed after seeking professional help is incredibly low. Only 2 percent of Marines who needed health care support beyond an OSCAR team member reported a change in their security clearance status.
Worried about the cost of care? OSCAR members are available to you free of charge. And the wait doesn’t exist. OSCAR members don’t work in health offices; they’re part of your unit and are there to listen to you.
Seeing stressful events is common for military members. OSCAR team members are there to help as a first port in a stormy sea. If your stress symptoms don’t go away and you have a need bigger than what an OSCAR team member can help you with, go to your local Community Counseling Program (CCP). CCP is staffed with independently licensed counselors who can help you reduce your stress symptoms, and CCP counselors do not add information to your help record.