DMHAS: Military Support Program

{Connecticut Military Support Program}

The Connecticut Military Support Program (MSP)




The Military Support Program (MSP) was established by the Connecticut General Assembly (Section 17a-453d) to address the behavioral health needs of National Guard and Reserve personnel affected by deployment in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF-Afghanistan) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF-Iraq).  In April 2012, in a press release issued by LT. Governor Nancy Wyman, the administration of Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced the expansion of program eligibility to include veterans of active duty service and their families .  As the State Mental Health Authority in Connecticut, the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) was given the responsibility of administering the MSP program.  The program officially began in March 2007.  



Since 2007, MSP has provided an array of behavioral health services to Connecticutís veterans, citizen soldiers and their family members. MSP services are accessed through a toll-free Call Center.

In March 2009, the MSP Embedded Clinician Program was established in partnership with Connecticutís Adjutant General, Major General Thaddeus Martin. Today, twenty-nine MSP clinicians serve as Behavioral Health Advocates within Guard Units affected by deployment(s) in Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom. These embedded clinicians provide deployment health education to service members and their families and serve as key points of contact for behavioral health services.
Connecticut is unique in that no other state in the country has established a program that embeds civilian clinicians within National Guard Unitís at the Company level.




  • OUTREACH within the National Guard and Reserve Communities
  • TOLL-FREE LINE: 866-251-2913
  • EMBEDDED CLINICIAN PROGRAM where MSP clinicians, serving as Behavioral Health Advocates, lead Service Members and families in open, honest discussion about deployment health issues.
  • OUTPATIENT COUNSELING SERVICES, REFERRAL TO confidential, locally available to OEF/OIF Veterans, National Guard/Reserve personnel and their families
  • COMMUNITY CASE MANAGEMENT SERVICES to assure timely access to appropriate services
  • INFORMATION, REFERRAL AND ADVOCACY to secure the right benefits, right away
MSP accomplishes its outreach mission through its involvement in two key programs: the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program and the MSP Embedded Clinician Program. The Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program is a thoughtful, comprehensive program designed to address behavioral health issues associated with deployment. Beginning a year prior to a Unitís scheduled deployment, service members and their families participate in Yellow Ribbon events that are held at local hotels, not in drafty armories.

 At the 30-day post-deployment drill, soldiers and family members have opportunity to spend as much time as they need talking with representatives from behavioral health agencies, as well as an array of federal, state, local and nonprofit agencies Ė community resources which they are encouraged to access.

 During the 60-day post-deployment drill soldiers and families, including children, participate in a series of deployment health workshops designed to inform them of the common challenges associated with the homecoming transition process, and to guide them to supportive services as needs arise.

 MSP staff members participate in all Yellow Ribbon events. Selected clinicians from the statewide MSP clinical panel actively participate by facilitating workshops for soldiers and their families on topics such as Anger Management, Redefining Roles in Relationships and Substance Abuse.


MSP outpatient counseling referral services are accessed through a call center that is managed by Advanced Behavioral Health, Inc., an administrative service organization contracted by DMHAS. Following a brief intake and initial assessment, callers to the Center are provided the names and contact information for clinicians in their area from which they may choose. An ABH Community Clinician is notified of every call made to the Center and follows up with each caller to support their connection to outpatient counseling. 

If a call is of an emergent nature, the ABH Community Clinician is immediately notified to assist in the evaluation and determination of appropriate response. MSP Community Clinicians continue to provide intensive case management support, especially during the period of a callerís first few outpatient visits. Veterans and service members determined to have complex or long-term care needs are assisted in connecting with the VA Connecticut Healthcare System.



The MSP Embedded Clinician Program consists of MSP clinicians who are currently embedded at the Company level (approximately 100 members) within National Guard Units affected by deployment(s).
The embedded MSP clinicians are known as Behavioral Health Advocates (BHA). They are a familiar presence during their Unitís drill weekends where they provide individual and group deployment health education activities, and serve as the key point of contact for behavioral health services.
Unit members may receive confidential support directly from their Behavioral Health Advocate, or assistance from their BHA in accessing services through the MSP panel, the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, or the Vet Center system depending upon their needs.
Embedded MSP clinicians participate in drill weekends until their Unit is deployed. Following deployment, focus is shifted toward serving the family members of the deployed Unit. At that point, instead of participating in drill weekends embedded clinicians serve as Behavioral Health Advocates during Family Readiness Group activities.

MSP outpatient counseling services are absolutely confidential. 
The personal health information of all veterans and current National Guard or
Reserve Service Members is protected.  No information is released without a
person's written consent. 

MSP provides statewide outpatient referral for counseling to veterans, military service members and their respective families that is Military Culture Informed, confidential, and locally available. Service members, veterans and their family members may access support for marriage and family issues, depression, anxiety, substance abuse and co-occurring disorders, trauma-related problems, as well as issues affecting children and adolescents. MSP referred clinicians are familiar with, and sensitive to, military culture. Many are military veterans themselves.

MSP outpatient counseling services are accessed by calling the MSP Call Center at 866-251-2913 or the Community Clinician at 860-480-1463. DMHAS contracted with Advanced Behavioral Health, Inc., an administrative services organization, to provide staffing for the Call Center and outpatient referral service.

The MSP program operates in close partnership with the Connecticut Army-Air National Guard; Army, Navy, Marines Reserve Units in Connecticut; VA Connecticut Healthcare System and the federal Veterans Readjustment and Counseling Service.  The MSP staff will work with the service members insurance to identify providers that are Military Culture Informed. If a service member is uninsured the Community Specialist will work with the service member to obtain appropriate counseling through local Community programs.

MSP provides intensive community case management services to veterans, National Guard/Reserve members and their families to support each individualís initial connection with clinical services and to assure that all their needs are met. The MSP Community Clinician assists in the assessment of service and/or clinical needs and in determining the type and level of care required. The MSP Community Specialist maintains regular contact with each program participant and encourages each individual to call on them if needed. The Community Specialist routinely conducts follow-up with VA, Vet Center or DMHAS clinicians to assure that each referred program participant is appropriately connected, and to support them in the treatment process (in each instance, participantsí written consent is secured prior to such follow-up activity). Similarly, MSP staff may convene and/or participate in treatment team meetings with DMHAS, VA, Vet Center or MSP clinicians. Such inter-agency treatment team meetings occur frequently, with MSP Community Clinicians often being called upon for case management support.
Such intensive case management services enable each MSP participant to receive timely support through their recovery process, as well as appropriate interventions during moments of crisis. MSPís focused outreach to Guard and Reserve units, along with the ongoing provision of deployment health education to soldiers and family members throughout Connecticut, has resulted in hundreds of OEF/OIF veterans being successfully connected to VA clinical services. These are soldiers/veterans who engaged MSP for outpatient clinical Services, but with the assistance of MSP clinicians, have determined that their clinical needs will be better served within the VA Connecticut Healthcare System.
Veterans referred to VA typically present with complex care needs beyond the scope of the MSP program. With the veteranís consent, the MSP Community Clinician will:
  • Contact appropriate VA clinical personnel to alert them of the referral
  • Arrange an appointment for a mental health screening
  • Assist a veteran in accessing emergency care at the VA Psychiatric Emergency Room (or local ER) when emergency care is required
  • Provide follow-up case management support to assure each veteranís safe connection to treatment services with VA.

Hundreds of individuals who have contacted the MSP call center benefited from information, referral and advocacy services. Such services include, but are not limited to, information and referral regarding state and federal veterans benefits and services, including medical, mental health and substance abuse services, as well as state and federal entitlement programs, community-based recovery supports, peer support opportunities, National Guard and Reserves Family Programs, financial counseling, direct assistance programs, housing, employment and training, and educational activities and programs.
Referral for advocacy support is routinely made to national veterans service organizations (NSOís) and to the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Advocacy and Assistance for advocacy representation in VA claims matters. MSP also refers participants to local attorneys willing to provide pro bono assistance, and to court personnel, including DMHAS Jail Diversion staff when necessary.


Connecticut Military Support Program

It is important for you to know that your involvement with the Military Support Program (MSP) is strictly confidential. Under no circumstance will an MSP staff member release any information to anyone relating to your involvement with the program.

In the event that you have been referred to MSP because of a positive drug screen, or your unit leadership has determined that you may benefit from substance abuse evaluation and treatment services:

  • MSP will provide you with the names and contact information of three clinicians in your local area. It is up to you to choose the clinician with whom you wish to meet.
  • If you are required to provide verification to your unit leadership that you attended counseling, you must notify your clinician. Your clinician will require that you sign a release of information form that will authorize them to release your confidential information to your unit leadership. Please know that MSP staff will not provide such verification.
  • Under no circumstances shall an MSP staff member release any information to anyone, even to your unit commander. Only you may do so, and that you must arrange through your clinician.