DCoE Blog

  • Be Kind to Yourself: Understanding and Implementing Self-Compassion
    U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht

    The golden rule encourages you to treat others how you want to be treated. However, can you truly do that if you’re not nice to yourself? The first step before lending a helping hand to others is to be kind to you – practice self-compassion. You can do this by taking steps to understand what being compassionate means.

    “To have compassion is to suffer together,” said Deployment Health Clinical Center Clinical Psychologist and Special Assistant to the Director Dr. Christina Schendel. “As humans, we have a capacity to have empathy for other humans or animals. Compassion requires a feeling of wanting to do something.”

    You may notice the compassionate gestures of others. Whether it is giving a homeless person something to eat or helping an elderly woman carry groceries to her car, these acts show willingness to react and make a difference.

  • Is Depression Affecting Your Military Family? These New Resources Can Help
    Service member looks at picture of his family.
    Photo courtesy of Deployment Health Clinical Center

    New publications for military communities to learn more about depression are now available to download on the Deployment Health Clinical Center (DHCC) website.

    “We created these materials to help patients and family members better understand and manage depression, a very common health concern,” said Cmdr. Angela Williams, chief of evidence-based practice at DHCC.

    They include a brochure, “Depression: Fast Facts for Families” and a booklet, “Understanding Depression: A Resource for Providers and Patients,” which DHCC created through a collaborative effort with the Defense Department and Department of Veterans Affairs.

     

  • 5 Steps to Take Charge of Your Mental Health
    U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Trevor Kohlrus

    Medical check-ups allow you to monitor your physical well-being; however, your health care shouldn’t stop there. How often do you check on your mental health? If not so often, here are five steps to help you take charge of your mental health.

    Step 1: Look for Mental Health Providers

    Finding the right mental health provider can be a challenge. The Defense Center of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) Outreach Center can help you get started. Professionals are available 24/7 by phone at 866-966-1020, online chat or email to listen to your questions and connect you with a specialist in your area of need.  

  • 10 Mental Health Blogs You Don’t Want to Miss
    U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chad Strohmeyer

    The Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) strives to provide the most up-to-date information and resources on research, tools and services available for the military community. DCoE, including its centers and campaigns, produces blog posts to help make the information available to everyone, and easier to understand.

  • Counting Sheep? 10 Tips to Help Foster Healthy Sleep Habits
    Read the full story: Counting Sheep? 10 Tips to Help Foster Healthy Sleep Habits

    Sleep is important for healthy brain function, emotional well-being and overall good physical health. But many service members and veterans are not getting the sleep they need. A study conducted by Rand Corp. determined about 70 percent of deployable service members reported six hours or less of sleep per day, almost half said they sleep poorly and one-third felt fatigued three to four times per week.

    Psychological health concerns or a traumatic brain injury (TBI) may make sleep even more difficult. Sleep disturbances are common for those recovering from a brain injury, while nightmares are common for those who have experienced trauma. Making simple changes to your behavior and environment — sleep schedule, bedtime habits and daily lifestyle choices — can help you get a better night’s rest.

  • Give Concussion the Red Card
    U.S. Air Force photo by Mike Kaplan

    Hey parents! Got a striker, midfielder, defender or keeper in your family? Do you know what hand ball, offside, corner and bicycle kick mean? Do you follow developments in goal line technology? Have you been heard to shout “All ball!” or “Advantage!” at the referee?

    If you answered yes to any of these questions, I’m guessing you’re a soccer mom or dad, or a soccer player yourself! You may know about injuries such as torn ligaments and pulled hamstrings. But whether your athlete is a newbie or dreams of making it to the World Cup one day, you should also add traumatic brain injury (TBI) to your vocabulary.

    As soccer gains popularity in the United States and awareness of TBI grows, more eyes are on this potentially serious injury. Mild TBI, also known as concussion, is especially common among girls. According to the Women’s Sports Foundation, “females participating in high school sports now have a higher incidence rate of sport-related concussions than do males.”

    A TBI is a blow or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal functioning of the brain. It can cause loss of consciousness for a brief or extended period of time, or make one feel confused or “see stars.” The injury can be mild, moderate, severe or penetrating, but most TBIs are concussions. Traumatic brain injury symptoms can be physical (headaches, dizziness), cognitive (problems with memory or concentration) or emotional (irritability or mood swings).

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