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The Military and Your Mental Health

Mental Health and the soldier, sailor, airman, marine, coast guard, spouse and child... it is a hot topic, an important topic, a topic that needs addressing and is being addressed.  We hope you can find what you are looking for here on MilitaryAvenue.com.  For your assistance here is a directory of articles related to Mental Health and the Military:

National Depression Awareness Month:  October is National Depression Awareness Month for the Army. On Oct. 7, 2010, organizations and communities across the U.S. will observe 'National Depression Screening Day' to bring national attention to depression; and educate people about its various signs and symptoms and the availability of free anonymous behavioral health screenings. The Army theme is "Depression is Treatable-Get Screened-Seek Care." ...

Contact the DCoE Outreach Center for 24/7 Help: Do you have questions about combat stress, depression or other psychological health concerns? Do you know someone having problems with memory because of a concussion? Do you need clinical guidance on how to treat a warrior? Are you a family member whose spouse is deployed and would like guidance in assisting your family with deployment issues Since January 2009, the DCoE Outreach Center has assisted more than 7,500 people. ...

You Are Your Friend's Biggest Support: The loss of any warrior’s life is a tragedy, whether it’s in combat or in a different type of battle. Although relatively uncommon overall, military suicides have unfortunately increased recently, especially within the Army and Marine Corps.  Every suicide within the armed forces community is ultimately preventable, and even one is too many.  That’s why it’s critical to speak up if you have concerns about a buddy’s psychological wellbeing. ...

Taking Care of Yourself!: I have noticed a stream of articles out from the Military community about how important it was for the caregiver, the military spouse, the one holding down the home-front to take care of herself! (or himself!) It's not a new story. We've all known how important it is ... but as military-spouses we know how HARD it can be to do. It is so easy to put the needs of others before our own.  I can't stress it enough! If YOU are not taking care of yourself the whole family will suffer. ...

DoD Programs Address Combat Stress: With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, our nation’s service members are often repeatedly called to duty in dangerous places and exposure to combat is a common reality. The Department of Defense’s (DoD) scientific understanding of combat stress reactions has advanced rapidly to meet these new demands. These advances have allowed the department to enhance and refine its efforts to minimize the adverse effects of combat exposure...

Mullen: Military Needs Leaders to Address Suicide Issue: Leadership and the effects it can have to help bring down the suicide rate were among the topics the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff discussed with servicemembers here today. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen spoke to 2nd Infantry Division soldiers about the stresses the Army is under after almost nine years of war. He took time from participating in high-level meetings in Seoul to meet with more than 200 soldiers and airmen. ...

Art Therapy: The Department of Veterans Affairs has been exploring new ways to help patients heal - especially those dealing with the invisible scars of war. (Short Video Clip)

Outreach ‘Essential’ to Suicide Prevention, Official Says: Preventing suicide among servicemembers and veterans calls for comprehensive education and communication, the director of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury said here today.  Testifying before the House Veterans Affairs Committee, Army Col. Robert W. Saum said the Defense Department’s approach to suicide prevention is “multi-pronged,” and outreach to troops, veterans and their families is essential. ...

Behavioral Health Options for Military Couples: It’s important for military couples to talk to someone about marital struggles or stress they may be experiencing. Marital, couples and family therapy, often referred to as counseling, are all types of professional behavioral health interventions available to eligible married couples enrolled in TRICARE Prime, TRICARE Prime Remote and TRICARE Prime Overseas. ...

VA Simplifies Access to Health Care and Benefits for Veterans with PTSD: Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced a critical step forward in providing an easier process for Veterans seeking health care and disability compensation for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), with the publication of a final regulation in the Federal Register. "This nation has a solemn obligation to the men and women who have honorably served this country and suffer from the often devastating emotional wounds of war,"...

VA Eases Claims Process for Veterans with PTSD: The Veterans Affairs Department will publish a final regulation tomorrow intended to ease the claims process and improve access to health care for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, VA officials announced today. “This nation has a solemn obligation to the men and women who have honorably served this country and suffer from the often-devastating emotional wounds of war,” Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki said in a statement issued today. ...

What are You doing to help your soldier? Get involved with the PDHRA!: What can you do to help your soldier, marine, airmen, coastie or sailor’s mental and physical health? We read headlines and are bombarded with some tough stories about our veterans daily on all of the media – written, internet, tv, national and local. We often say to ourselves: What happened? Why? Were their families available? Friends? What did the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard do or not do? ... 

Army STARRS: The five-year Army study to assess risk and resilience in servicemembers (Army STARRS) is the largest study of mental health risk and resilience factors ever conducted among military personnel. Carried out in partnership with the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), its goal is to identify - as quickly as possible - factors that protect or pose risks to Soldier's emotional wellbeing and mental health. This study is part of the Army's commitment to promote the overall health of Soldiers and to prevent suicide across the Army. ...

Services Work to Learn More About Brain Ailments, Suicides: Post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury and suicides among servicemembers are interrelated problems requiring holistic prevention methods and more scientific study, military leaders told a Senate panel today.  “The reality is, the study of the brain is an emerging science, and there still is much to be learned,” Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, Army vice chief of staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee...

Services, VA Use Technology for Stress, Resilience Outreach: The military services and the Veterans Health Administration of the Veterans Affairs Department increasingly use digital technology to reach out to identify and treat servicemembers with traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder. The second-ranking officers of each of the four services and a senior VHA leader outlined for the Senate Armed Services Committee today the many programs and delivery methods they are using to reach servicemembers who may have mild brain injuries or PTSD. ...

You Are Not Alone! Help for Mental Health Issues such as PTSD and TBI - DoD Roundtable: You Are Not Alone!” “Every warrior is exposed to combat stress of some sort!” “Reaching out is a strength, not a weakness!” The DoD Bloggers Roundtable met with three great panel members to talk about the signs, symptoms and treatment of psychological health concerns, such as PTSD, and traumatic brain injury. ...

Is this the End? or Perhaps Just the Beginning!: May is coming to a close and although Memorial Day brings us to the end of Military Appreciation Month I think I speak for all military-families when I say it shouldn't be limited to one month.... But I don't think that because May is ending that it is the end of appreciation. I think it opens doors and gets us talking. How can we appreciate the military member? the spouse? the child? the mom and dad of the service member and family? What do they need? What do they want? How can we do more then appreciate but SUPPORT them.

Mental Health MonthMay is Mental Health Month. "Live Your Life Well-Promoting Health and Wellness in the Army" is the 2010 theme. Commanders and leaders across the Army are encouraged to use the month of May as an opportunity to educate Soldiers, Army civilians and family members about the Army's behavioral health resources and programs available on Army installations, military treatment facilities and within their local communities.  ...

Shinseki Emphasizes Addressing Mental Health Issues Early: Close collaboration between the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments, plus proactive military screening policies, are helping to identify and treat mental-health issues in returning combat veterans before they escalate into more serious, long-term problems, Veteran Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki told American Forces Press Service. ...

Coaches Ease Mental Health Care Transitions:  The Defense Department has launched a new program that offers servicemembers undergoing mental health treatment a bridge of support as they transition between health care systems or providers.  InTransition provides this continuity of care through a network of transitional support coaches who offer servicemembers one-on-one guidance through a transition, whether it’s a move or a separation from service, a health care official explained.

inTransition Now Available for Service Members Receiving Mental Health Treatment: The Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Health Protection and Readiness announced Feb. 24 the kick-off of inTransition. inTransition is a new program designed to offer service members currently receiving mental health treatment a bridge of support between health care providers when they transfer to a new location or separate from active service.

Military Leads Mental Health Care Transformation: The United States is in the middle of a “cultural transformation” in mental health treatment led by the Defense Department and the military services, the department’s top mental health expert told a congressional panel today.  Mental health resilience “is fundamentally underlying everything we do,” Army Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Loree K. Sutton told the House Veterans Affairs Committee. ...

'Real Warrior Describes Post-traumatic Stress: When Staff Sgt. Megan Krause returned home from a deployment in Iraq in 2006, she thought the scariest moments of her life were over.  At her homecoming, “I ran to my mother in that hangar; we both cried tears of joy,” said Krause, now an Army Reserve medic attached to a combat engineering unit in Pennsylvania. “I told her it was over and I was fine.  “Boy, was I wrong.” ...

Better Mental Fitness Will Help Prevent Suicide, Sutton Says:  Preventing suicide is more than simply recognizing the signs, it involves building strong community and individual support before the idea ever sets in, the Army's top psychiatrist and director of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury said here today.  “[Suicide prevention] involves building and developing a tool kit for life,” Army Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Loree K. Sutton said ...

Army Joins With Mental Health Institute to Study Suicides: The Army is collaborating with the National Institute of Mental Health to launch the largest study ever undertaken of suicide and mental health among military personnel. "The bottom line is, we want to apply science in a way that it's going to solve this problem to the benefit of soldiers," Robert Heinssen, NIMH’s acting director of intervention research said during a Nov. 18 interview on the Pentagon Channel podcast, “Armed with Science: Research and Applications for the Modern Military.”

‘Real Warrior’ Helps Others Get Help: Sheri Hall could tell something was wrong with her husband, Army Maj. Jeff Hall, at the hangar during his welcome home ceremony. “His eyes were dead,” she said. It should have been a joyous time. The major was returning from his second deployment to Iraq at the end of 2005. He had been with a military training team with the 3rd Infantry Division.  He went from Fort Stewart, Ga., to the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La.  But he was having problems.  ... 

Casey Pledges More Progress on Mental Health Resources: The Army has worked hard on developing programs to maintain the psychological health of the service, but much more needs to be done, Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr. said yesterday.  Appearing on the CNN program “State of the Union,” Casey reflected on his “gut-wrenching” and “up-lifting” visit to Fort Hood, Texas, on Nov. 6, the day after 13 people were murdered in a shooting spree, allegedly by an Army psychiatrist. 

Mental Health Pros Meet to Consider Treatments: Improving mental health care for servicemembers and veterans requires a coordinated effort beyond health care providers and the military community, the Pentagon’s top mental health expert said here today. Opening the second Warrior Resilience Conference, Army Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Loree K. Sutton, director of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, asked the more than 400 attendees to learn from each other...

VA, DoD Host National Mental Health Summit: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) are hosting a first-of-its-kind national summit to address the mental health care needs of America’s military personnel, families and Veterans, harnessing the programs, resources and expertise of both departments to deal with the aftermath of the battlefield. “This is about doing what is best for those who serve this country and using every federal, state and community asset to do it,” said Secretary Shinseki. ...

Real Warriors: Behavioral Health Programs: A message on seeking help for behavioral health issues from the Real Warriors Campaign.

Shinseki Cites Collaboration in Mental Health Care: Psychological war wounds are nothing new to U.S. servicemembers, but the support of the nation to care for their injuries, until recent years, was somewhat uncharted territory. The departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs are committed to advancing that care because it’s the right thing to do as a nation, VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki said yesterday when he and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates launched a joint National Mental Health Summit here.

Pentagon, VA Team Up to Improve Mental Health Care: Defense and Veterans Affairs Department health care professionals began a three-day workshop here today to harness initiatives to improve psychological health care for servicemembers and veterans.  Through the first-of-its kind joint mental health summit, officials of both departments hope to gain a broader, national perspective of the care servicemembers, veterans and their families need to overcome the emotional wounds of war, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said.  ...

Chaplain-led program reinforces relationships: Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Michael Strohm, assigned to the Army Office of the Chief of Chaplains, and Chaplain (Col.) Bradford Fipps, a U.S. Army Forces Command Staff Chaplain, reached out to FORSCOM Family Readiness Group leaders today, offering information for the Strong Bonds curriculum.  Strong Bonds is a commander-initiated-but chaplain-led-program designed to help strengthen relationships through skill-training for singles, couples, Families and deployment cycle support. ...

Army Continues Focus on Suicide Prevention: The Army is making progress in its efforts to prevent suicides despite the increasing number of reports, an Army spokeswoman said in an interview with American Forces Press Service today. So far this year, 117 suicides have been reported among active-duty soldiers, 14 more than what was reported through September in 2008. Of those, 81 are confirmed suicides and 36 are still under investigation, according to a statement released today by the Army.  Also, 35 reserve-component soldier suicides were reported with 25 pending investigation, the report said.

TRICARE Assistance Program Reaches Out Over the Web to Ease Post-Deployment Stress: The Web-based TRICARE Assistance Program (TRIAP) uses today’s constantly evolving Web-based technologies to bring short-term professional counseling assistance closer to the people who often need it most: service members and veterans recently returned from overseas and their families who’ve persevered through the deployment.

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You Are Not Alone: Suicide is preventable - Suicide Prevention Resources

Army Aims to Improve Soldiers' Mental Well-Being: With soldier suicides reaching what Army leadership is calling “alarming numbers,” a renewed emphasis is being placed on soldiers’ mental well-being, the Army’s second in command said. "With soldier suicides reaching what Army leadership is calling “alarming numbers,” a renewed emphasis is being placed on soldiers’ mental well-being, the Army’s second in command said. ...

Task Force to Examine Suicide-Prevention Programs: A Defense Department-sponsored task force will examine the military’s suicide-prevention programs to ascertain what works and what doesn’t, a senior health official said yesterday.  The military services provide a plethora of programs designed to help servicemembers and families cope with the stresses associated with wartime conflict and overseas deployments, said Mark Bates... 

Military Support - VA's Suicide Prevention Program Adds Chat Service: The Suicide Prevention campaign of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is expanding its outreach to all Veterans by piloting an online, one-to-one "chat service" for Veterans who prefer reaching out for assistance using the Internet. Called "Veterans Chat," the new service enables Veterans, their families and friends to go online where they can anonymously chat with a trained VA counselor. ...

Study Considers Effect of Deployment on Children:  A recent study has found that considerable percentage of military youth are considered to be at high risk for psychological problems.  Doctors and researchers from Madigan Army Medical Center conducted the study to examine the effect of parents’ deployments on children’s mental health. Led by Dr. Eric Flake, a Madigan pediatrician, the team published its findings in August’s Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. ....

Online or Over Video, TRICARE Reaches Out With Expanded Behavioral Health Care Services: The stress of military life takes a toll on the well being of some military families – and TRICARE is there to help. Time and distance will no longer be obstacles for active duty families seeking behavioral health care with the introduction of two new programs. ...

New Web Page Guides TRICARE Beneficiaries to Behavioral Health Resources:  new Web page for TRICARE beneficiaries takes the brainwork out of seeking help. May is Mental Health Month, and at http://www.tricare.mil/mentalhealth, TRICARE is committed to providing beneficiaries with the most up-to-date information about available its behavioral health resources.  ...

Tragedy Highlights Need for Mental Health Help, Casey Says: This week’s tragedy at Camp Victory in Iraq, in which a soldier undergoing treatment for stress is charged with killing five fellow servicemembers, highlights the need for the efforts the Army is making to deal with mental illness, the service’s top officer said here yesterday.  Army Sgt. John M. Russell, an engineer serving his third deployment to Iraq, allegedly opened fire in a combat stress facility at the main camp outside Baghdad. Two doctors and three enlisted soldiers were killed.

Pursuit of Mental Health Care Keeps Warriors Strong: Soldiers and medics can recognize physical combat injuries and external wounds easily, but it is much more difficult to spot and treat mental wounds. In May, the Army observes Mental Health Month, and recently Army Secretary Pete Geren paid a visit to soldiers assigned to the Warrior Transition Unit at Fort Jackson, S.C., to speak with them and their families about how they are addressing mental health challenges with the help of family and Army programs. ...

Deployment Troubles of a 5 year-old: My five-year old is struggling. He is struggling with his father's deployment. One and a half months down - 10 1/2 to go. This could be a long year. The two of them are close. He loves watching his dad play video games; looks for his dad's face after every soccer goal he makes; helps his dad make an occasional dinner; hangs on every word his father says. When you talk about being a hero, Dad is up there in this little boy's eyes. ...
 

TRICARE Publishes New Behavioral Health Resource Guide: No one questions the need for medical care when someone is physically injured but, when people experience emotional problems, they may feel embarrassed and afraid to seek help when the troubling signs first surface. During Mental Health Month in May, TRICARE would like to remind beneficiaries about the recently published “A TRICARE Guide: Understanding Behavioral Health.” ...

Military OneSource Expands Counseling Sessions: Eligible service members and their families may now receive 12 sessions per person, up from 6 sessions, per issue, and per counselor within 120 days.

Mullen Encourages Troops to Seek Mental Health Care When Needed:  The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff emphasized the importance of de-stigmatizing mental-health care for returning war veterans today as he cut the ribbon on a newly renovated facility designed to improve that care. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, paying his first visit to the home of the 10th Mountain Division, presided at the official opening a new, state-of-the-art, mental health facility. ...

General Does Part to Reduce Mental Health Stigma: Army Maj. Gen. David Blackledge is doing his part to reduce the social stigma attached to seeking mental health treatment for war-related stress. The general suffered from post-traumatic stress after surviving a near-death experience during his first deployment to Iraq in 2004. Now he willingly shares his tale of recovery and hopes his example will help others in dealing with war’s invisible wounds. “I felt it was critical that we had senior leaders experiencing [post-traumatic stress] come forward,” ...

 

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