DCoE Blog

  • Clinician’s Corner: Help Your Patients and Yourself Feel Comfortable Talking About Suicide

    Read the full story: Clinician’s Corner: Help Your Patients and Yourself Feel Comfortable Talking About Suicide
    U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nadine Y. Barclay

    For the past eight years, suicide is among the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Despite its prevalence, suicide remains a sensitive topic often considered taboo. The effects of stigma related to suicide are of particular importance for those in the military. There is a common perception among service members that if they share their thoughts of suicide with others, they may experience negative repercussions that will affect their careers.

    As mental health professionals, we too are susceptible to personal beliefs that perpetuate stigma. Without knowing it, we may bring these beliefs and fears (rooted in stigma) into the therapy room.

  • Military Health System News: Do Benefits of Sports Participation Outweigh Risks?

    Read the full story: Military Health System News: Do Benefits of Sports Participation Outweigh Risks?
    U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Travis Gershaneck

    Playing sports has health benefits for children and service members. Experts from the Military Health System examined whether those benefits outweigh the risks in a recent health.mil article.

    Children can be involved in sports from a young age. Participating in sports gives children a way to release energy in a more controlled, positive manner, said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jonathan Roth, a sports medicine physician at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in northern Virginia. From toddler gymnastics to T-ball and soccer, organized sports help teach young children important social lessons – like teamwork, sharing and perseverance.

  • ‘What Did You Say?’ Hearing Loss and Brain Injuries

    Read the full story: ‘What Did You Say?’ Hearing Loss and Brain Injuries
    U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Stephen D. Schester

    It’s no surprise that some symptoms of traumatic brain injury (TBI) include headaches and memory problems. But hearing loss may also accompany a TBI, either because the injury damages the ear or because there is damage to the part of the brain that processes sound. In addition, loud noises that might just be irritating to people without a brain injury can cause problems such as headaches and fatigue for those with a TBI.

    Research continues to fully understand the mechanisms associated with hearing loss and auditory and vestibular (important part of the ear for balance) system injuries in individuals with TBI, said Katie Stout, director of clinical affairs for Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center. In the meantime, there are specialty treatments and rehabilitation strategies available for hearing and balance challenges in individuals with TBI.

  • Fortify Caregivers to Prevent Compassion Fatigue

    Read the full story: Fortify Caregivers to Prevent Compassion Fatigue
    U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jason Kemp

    Compassion fatigue is a natural occurrence that may affect health care providers and the quality of care they provide to patients, a professor of social work said in a psychological health webinar hosted last month by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury.

    Brian E. Bride, a professor of social work at Georgia State University and editor in chief of “Traumatology: An International Journal,” outlined the risks of compassion fatigue. Bride also explained strategies caregivers can apply to minimize its impact on their mental states and on the care they provide.

    Compassion fatigue occurs in caregivers who regularly treat patients who have experienced trauma. This secondhand trauma can produce symptoms identical to those of posttraumatic stress disorder, including intrusive thoughts, irritability, loss of emotional control and loss of concentration. These symptoms may affect providers’ ability to respond to patients.

    Recent studies of health care providers indicate that close to half of providers experience compassion fatigue and a significant portion say it negatively affects their work.

  • Defense Department News: Military Crisis Line Specialist Helps Fellow Veterans

    Read the full story: Defense Department News: Military Crisis Line Specialist Helps Fellow Veterans

    Knowing where to turn in a time of crisis is important. Many of us have family members, fellow service members, colleagues or friends we can reach out to. But, it’s not always easy, or best, to talk about what we’re going through with someone close to us. A recent Defense Department article explores how a crisis line specialist helps other veterans.

  • Military Health Experts Share How 9/11 Shaped Future Careers

    Read the full story: Military Health Experts Share How 9/11 Shaped Future Careers

    This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. This moment in history shaped our nation and our military. Many Americans felt called to serve. The men and women who were already in uniform serving were reminded of why they signed up, the vow they took and commitment to defending our nation.

    Almost everyone remembers where they were the moment the planes hit the Twin Towers or the Pentagon. It’s a memory that is etched in our minds forever. This year for the anniversary, the Defense Health Agency posted stories from staff members. Below is an excerpt of our own staff at the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE). Visit health.mil for a complete list of stories.

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