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Will anyone at the Guard know that I have called to speak with a coach or counselor?

No. By law, all of our contacts with a Guardsman or Guardswoman, and their families, are confidential. Our program is a resource for you, your buddies at the Guard, and your family members. We keep things private.

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Can I see someone face-to-face for some coaching or counseling if I prefer not to speak on the phone?

Yes. We can help you to find a counselor near your home for free, confidential and private counseling.

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Am I weak for seeking out help?

We have spoken to many of your commanding officers. All of the them have told us that they want you to reach out for help for any concerns, whether your challenges are financial, legal, family, stress, physical or very personal. People who are healthy recognize the normal need to seek outside guidance and help. It is a sign of strength, not weakness, to talk to counselors, friends, family members and spiritual advisers.

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Can my family use the programs at Guard Your Buddy?

Yes. This program is for the entire Guard community, including your family members. We encourage them to call and to ask us for help in locating resources that will make your lives easier and less stressful.

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What should I do if I am concerned about a Guard buddy?

We suggest that you call us, keep his or her name confidential and private; don’t tell us the name. However, we can work with you to figure out a strategy to help this buddy in distress. It is important to “guard” your buddies. Call us and let’s discuss what is going on, what you are seeing, and how we can work together to send a life line to your buddy while protecting privacy and confidentiality. Keeping things silent can be dangerous, especially if you see serious signs of depression or sadness in a buddy at the Guard.

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Can you help with financial concerns and stressors?

Yes. We have experts to help you with such things as credit card consolidations, debt management, and budgeting. Some simple lessons on creating a practical budget can go a long way to reduce family pressures.

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Will you help us to locate child care and elder care resources?

Yes. This is all part of the Guard Your Buddy program. Our work-life-family coaches have hundreds of resources to help you locate child care and elder care resources. Finances can be a big challenge these days. Talk to us and let us know what you can and cannot do. We will try to match your current needs and restrictions.

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Can you help someone who has thoughts of hurting themselves?

Thoughts of personal harm, suicidal thoughts and images of not wanting to live are more common than many of us realize. Soldiers facing deployment, or those returning from a difficult war zone for example, can experience thoughts about dying, or death. It is important to get help so that you can understand what these thoughts mean, and how to change them. We have licensed, professional counselor, available 24/7, to provide assistance on these very personal issues. Your conversations with the counselors will be private, confidential and at no cost. Remember, it is a sign of strength to talk to another person about personal challenges.

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