Military Spouses Giving Back: Military Spouse Behavioral Health Clinicians

As military spouses, we are keenly aware of just how much our community has endured since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — and even before then.

Our service members and families live with the aftermath of this life: Suicide, PTSD, depression, anxiety and the list goes on and on. Many of us work with and volunteer in our community to help stem the tide. We are passionate advocates for our families, our friends and our greater military family. We work hard to help those with visible and invisible wounds.

You’re invited! Support Military Spouses as They Join the Military Health Profession: Download invitation here.

For some of us, it’s a calling. We choose to pursue “helping” as a career. We take online courses, or make our service members geo-bachelors and go to a brick-and-mortar institution to get our degrees. We take on debt, find out licensing and educational requirements for each state we move to, and often have several licenses in different states. Very expensive prospects indeed. But we do this because we want to help our community heal. We also do it to provide for our own families and to fulfill a passion we have to help others.

These are our military spouse behavioral health clinicians. I am one of them. I have moved four times in the past six years; I have struggled to meet licensing requirements and to pay the various fees involved with testing, retesting and relicensing. I have been perpetually underemployed. This year marks one of the very first “real” jobs I have held where my degree is in full use. During this difficult journey, I often looked around for support but struggled to find it. I had many, many (and still do) military spouse friends of various professions, but had not had the distinct pleasure of finding military spouses in my field of work, in the behavioral health field. I also had many, many colleagues within my field, but they were all civilians and didn’t understand what it was like to have to worry about meeting requirements in a new state; or what it was to have to take a job that you are overqualified for because no one will hire you as a military spouse who could leave their position in a year.

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