DCoE Blog

  • What Do You Call a Military Patient?
    Graphic courtesy of Deployment Health Clinical Center

    The chain of command in the military offers structure, denotes a clear line of responsibility and tasks, and maintains overall order. While the rank structure is essential to an effective military, it can be tricky for mental health providers to know how to address their military patients. In addition to rank, service members may go by last names, job titles, nick names, etc. So just what do you call a member of the military?

    This excerpt from a Clinician’s Corner post, written by Navy Capt. (Dr.) Carrie Kennedy, director of the Deployment Health Clinical Center, highlights her perspective on how to address military patients seeking mental health support:


  • Psychological Health Center Highlights How Commanders Can Help Service Member Wellness
    Marine in combat year talking on radio.
    U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Andrew Huff

    There are many factors that impact service members’ overall well-being. Like many things in life, it often takes a team approach when there are obstacles. Service members benefit when mental health providers and commanders communicate effectively. For example, commanders can help improve the environment for soldiers’ wellness.

    The Deployment Health Clinical Center discusses how providers can build rapport with a patient’s command, adhere to command disclosure policies and make decisive recommendations.


  • Managing Suicide Risk, Access to Firearms: Guidelines for Providers
    Grahpic with text "Firearms are the most common method of suicide among active-duty personnel.  Approximately 64 percent of suidcides in 21014 were by personally owned firearms.
    Graphic courtesy of Deployment Health Clinical Center.

    Suicide is a sensitive topic, and discussing the ways people take their own lives can be extremely difficult. It is important that providers are aware of and able to openly discuss guidelines for managing suicide. In this recent Deployment Clinical Health Center blog, Navy Lt. Marcus Van Sickle answers questions related to firearm access and suicide.

    I have a patient who may be at risk for suicide and I know the patient owns a gun. What can I do?

  • TBI Patients Can Benefit from Performance Triad Plan

    Most clinicians know that patients achieve optimum physical health by eating healthy nutrient-based foods, staying active and consistently getting at least eight hours of quality sleep every night. But for patients with a traumatic brain injury (TBI), these tasks may be challenging.

    “Regardless of the mechanism of injury, TBI can result in significant neurological impairment, acute clinical symptoms and functional disturbances,” said Gary McKinney, chief, office of clinical practice and clinical recommendations at Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC).

    McKinney and other experts from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, spoke about how primary care providers can apply the key focus areas of the Army Performance Triad (sleep, activity and nutrition) to boost patient recovery from TBI during a Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) webinar July 14.

  • Clinician’s Corner: Real Warriors’ Website Supports Psychological Health Care
    man wearing fatigues in conversation in an office
    U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Cohen A. Young

    As clinicians, we’re always looking for ways to help our patients learn more about psychological health conditions, how to seek help and how to help others. We urge that early intervention can positively impact their well-being and even their careers. We also know that almost half of patients who seek care leave treatment too soon, so it’s essential to direct them to resources that provide information to help between care and following care. Finding good resources that speak directly to patients can be difficult. Fortunately, the Real Warriors Campaign is only a click away.

    Sponsored by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE), Real Warriors is a multimedia public awareness campaign designed to encourage service members and veterans coping with mental health concerns to reach out for appropriate care or support.

  • Clinician's Corner: Recognizing and Responding to Your Own Mental Health Needs
    woman listening to service member
    U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Samantha Saulsbury

    Do you know a mental health provider who’s always physically and emotionally tired? What about a colleague who is going through a significant life stressor such as a divorce and doesn’t pay enough attention to how this stressor impacts his or her functioning and work with patients?

    How often do you stop and think about your own emotional well-being? What do you do about it?

    "Please secure your oxygen mask before assisting others."

    It’s important to recognize early warning signs of mental health problems, pay attention to self-care and seek help in a timely manner.