I would like to know if my Command can prevent me from seeing a psychologist off base if I will be paying out of pocket. I am seeing a therapist on base but I believe that I have been misdiagnosed and I am not getting the help that I need. They also do not want to refer me to an off base psychologist. I am willing to pay and have already contacted one but I would like to know if my Command can say that I cannot go to my appointment. My Commander prevented me from going to mental health a few weeks ago and I never filed an article 138 but I just do not want this to keep happening. I had a Command directed evaluation a few months ago and was diagnosed with personality disorder which does not qualify for a MEB. I was also diagnosed with depression by a psychiatrist but still they did not give me a MEB. I wanted to ask the civilian psychologist for a diagnosis and a nexus opinion.
You should go straight to legal assistance Monday at your first opportunity. You should NOT be trying to navigate this yourself. Don't get adversarial with your leadership. You have a right to medical treatment and mental health treatment, but obviously you personally arguing with your superiors will not help your case. A lawyer can advocate for you and protect you from bringing emotion and the risk of disrespect into the equation. Get a lawyer, get help from your doctor, and seek out all options.
*NOT LEGAL ADVICE. YOU HAVE NOT PAID ME A RETAINER. WE DO NOT HAVE AN ATTORNEY CLIENT RELATIONSHIP. This is general information for educational purposes only. You should always hire a lawyer and reveal all the unique facts to get the best answer for your unique situation. Answering this question on a public forum does not create an attorney-client relationship.
I agree with Mr. Sweet. Go to Base Legal Assistance asap - or TDS. Your command should not be keeping you from seeing a mental health professional - unless there is a very good reason.
Of the command is permitting you to see the on-base provider during normal duty hours, I would say you may have a difficult time justifying a separate off-base appointment.m from their perspective. If you are able to, schedule with this provider after normal duty hours. The base legal assistance attorney is one potential advocate; another may be the patient advocate.
You should review SECNAV's Memo to the CNO and Commandant dated December 4, 2014. This memo covers self-referred civilian medical procedures and you exact situation. You may need an attorney to be able to explain this to your commander.
Before a member serving on active duty undergoes a non-emergent or nonmedically
indicated, self-referred civilian medical procedure (inpatient or outpatient), the
Service Member shall receive documented counseling from the assigned Primary Care
Manager (PCM) or appropriate military medical department representative. The
Commanding Officer shall be notified by the PCM or military medical department
representative of cases when there is risk to mission readiness. In cases that have
substantial potential to negatively impact individual readiness, as determined by
consultation with the PCM or medical department representative, written approval from
the Service Member's Commanding Officer or designee, is required.
A member who receives subject medical procedures without the required
counseling and authorized approval will be referred to a military physician by the
Commanding Officer to determine any impact on mission readiness and ability to
perform all assigned and required duties. This policy does not apply to emergency care,
nor does it apply to medical care that enhances readiness, such as behavioral health
services, counseling, chiropractic care, and acupuncture, as long as such care is provided
in an appropriate setting by a licensed provider.
The information contained in this post is intended to provide general information only and not legal advice. You should consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction before relying upon any of the information presented here. You are advised that any response by an attorney on this website does not create an attorney-client relationship with Korody Law, PA.
You have the right to choose the healthcare provider of your choice. Your command does have an interest in you working during normal work hours, so they may be able to restrict when you can see the off-post civilian provider -- if necessary evenings, weekends and during pass or leave is when you could book an appointment. I strongly recommend that you take the advice of other commenters and seek assistance from your local legal assistance or base attorney.
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