DCoE Blog

  • 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.

  • DCoE Director: Honing our Efforts to Reduce Suicide – a Public Health Scourge
    Photo courtesy of DCoE

    This article by Capt. Mike Colston, director of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, is reposted from the Military Health System in recognition of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

    Suicide Prevention Awareness Month is a national observance during the month of September, but suicide prevention is a priority for the Department of Defense (DoD) every day of the year. Suicide is a pressing public health issue. Suicide rates have increased alarmingly in the U.S. over the past two decades. The Defense Health Agency (DHA) will lead in preventing suicide through three lines of action: fostering research, translating clinical knowledge to the field and informing policy.

    Research

    The evidence base for suicide prevention remains thin. Research efforts such as the “Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Service members Longitudinal Project” (STARRS-LP) and protocols under the cognizance of the Military Suicide Research Consortium are producing slow but hard-won gains in the science of suicidology.

  • Take the First Step toward Better Mental Health

    This article by Capt. Mike Colston, director of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, is reposted from the Military Health System in recognition of Mental Health Awareness month.

    When a colleague has the flu or breaks a bone you naturally expect them to take time off from work to get medical attention and recover. It may be harder to detect a mental health concern in a colleague or even in ourselves. However, when a mental health concern impacts daily functioning it is imperative to get help. We should expect – and in fact encourage – someone with a mental health concern to seek medical attention with the same no-nonsense, practical attitude with which we would advise a colleague with a physical injury to go to the doctor. Because of perceived stigma surrounding mental health issues and treatment I know that many of our beneficiaries fail to get help or won’t talk openly about seeking mental health care.

    You should know that seeking care can actually strengthen and protect your career by minimizing the impact of symptoms on your performance. Not seeking care worsens your health and increases the likelihood of an adverse event (e.g., anger, outbursts, driving under the influence, fights, being late to work) that could lead to loss of rank, personal relationships or leadership positions.

  • DCoE Director on Preventing Head Injuries

    This story by Capt. Mike Colston, director of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, is reposted from the Military Health System, where it ran as part of the Motivational Monday series.

    Our military community is active. Not only do the armed forces emphasize fitness, but sports are a personal passion for a lot of us, whether riding a bike or motorcycle, playing on a team or competing in extreme sports.

    We’ve all heard about traumatic brain injuries (TBI) caused by blast events. But, battlefield injuries aren’t the reason for most military TBIs; the most common causes are motor vehicle crashes and falls.

  • From DCoE Director: We Wish You Good Health, Well-Being this Veterans Day
    All gave some, some gave all. Thank you for your service. Veterans Day 2015.

    On Veterans Day we honor all veterans for their service and sacrifice. I believe this is something we at Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) have the responsibility and privilege to do every day. We serve our service members, veterans and military families through our important work to improve prevention and treatment of traumatic brain injuries and psychological health concerns.

    I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all veterans who have served around the world and for those transitioning out of the military. We honor your service by supporting your resilience, strength and health by making available much-needed psychological health and traumatic brain injury resources for you, your families and your health care providers.

    Thanks to all who have served and those who continue to serve our great nation. May you and your families enjoy a safe, happy and healthy Veterans Day.

  • DCoE Says Farewell, Welcomes Director

    Capt. Richard Stoltz steps down today after more than two years as director of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE). He is succeeded by Capt. Mike Colston. As we say goodbye to one DCoE Director and welcome another, we asked their thoughts on the transition.

    From Stoltz:
    We have made tremendous progress since my start here in May of 2013. I am proud to have served as the director for DCoE and to have worked side-by-side with so many dedicated professionals to improve the lives of our nation’s service members, veterans and families by advancing excellence in psychological health and traumatic brain injury (TBI) prevention and care.

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