Skip Navigation

Home  >  DCoE Blog

DCoE Blog

  • Service Members, Former NFL Players Share Common Ground on Game Day

    Hank Baskett

    Former wide receiver Hank Baskett holds up a sign of thanks for service members. (Photo courtesy of Real Warriors Campaign)

    Sometimes it’s easier to talk about challenging experiences with someone who has been down a similar path. That’s the premise behind a program that puts service members together with former NFL players to watch football games, socialize and discuss common reintegration challenges, and through those exchanges, help break down barriers to seeking help for psychological health concerns or traumatic brain injuries. 

    This is the third year Real Warriors Campaign, sponsored by Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, partnered with National Football League Players Association to host “Game Day” events at military installations. In December 2012 and January 2013, nearly 300 service members and families heard former NFL players share their difficulties with transitioning from the NFL experience. By talking candidly about their struggles and getting help, these former professional athletes hoped service members and families coping with psychological health issues and transitioning from the military would embrace their messages, such as:

  • Frontline Psych with Doc Bender: Could Psychotherapy Help You?

    Female service member talking with male service member

    U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Duncan Brennan

    Dr. James Bender is a former Army psychologist who deployed to Iraq as the brigade psychologist for the 1st Cavalry Division 4th Brigade Combat Team out of Fort Hood, Texas. During his deployment he traveled through Southern Iraq, from Basra to Baghdad. He writes a monthly post for the DCoE Blog on psychological health concerns related to deployment and being in the military.

    How do you make a soldier run away screaming? Suggest therapy.

    Although this is an exaggeration, the truth is most service members aren’t open to the idea of talking to a stranger about personal issues. When I’ve suggested therapy, responses have ranged from anger to disbelief and often back to anger, with the assumption that I considered them “weak” or “broken.” Far too many service members view a psychological health concern as a character flaw instead of what it is, a treatable condition. Therapy isn’t for “weak” or “broken” people. It’s for people who recognize a problem, address it and then overcome it.

  • Ready to Seek Psychological Health Care? Find the Right Resources

    DCoE Outreach Center 866-966-1020If you’re looking for information about psychological health care, but are unsure what resources are available or which ones are confidential, the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) created a fact sheet of psychological health resources that answers those questions. You can use the fact sheet to identify a health care resource that will best benefit your specific needs.

    Resources for Psychological Health Care


    The fact sheet lists resources ranging from hotlines to self-assessments to one-on-one counseling sessions.


    Information and hotline assistance

    Reach out for relevant information or immediate help.

  • Stripping Away Misconceptions About Psychotherapy

    Service member with counselor
    U.S. Army photo by Patricia Deal, CRDAMC Public Affairs

    Below is a blog post from Military Pathways, written by Paul Heithaus, program manager at Military Pathways.

    When you break your arm, you see a professional. If you hurt your back or are plagued by migraines, you do the same thing. But what if your sleep is constantly disrupted by nightmares or you dread each new day so much that you don’t even want to get out of bed? Are you as quick to seek professional help? Very often, the answer is “no.”

    What is it that prevents us from seeking help for very treatable and sometimes debilitating mental health conditions? For most of us it comes down to one or more of three things.

  • Sergeant Major of the Army Speaks Out About Army Values, Psychological Health

    “Loyalty is extremely important to us and if you say you are part of the Army and part of something larger than yourself, that loyalty to the person to the left or right of you, or the superior or the subordinate — it means something.” – U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Ray Chandler

  • Tips for Encouraging Your Loved One to Access Mental Health Services

    Coaching into Care - Helping you help your Veteran: Make a confidential call today to 1-888-823-7458

    Below is a blog post from Military Pathways, written by Dr. Steven L. Sayers, a psychologist and director of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Coaching Into Care program.

    It happens every year. We visit friends and family who we only see occasionally and are often surprised at their condition. For the family of a struggling veteran, this can be especially difficult if that veteran doesn’t want to seek treatment. Fortunately, there is a program specifically for those trying to help a veteran who won’t seek treatment. The program will “coach” you through working with your vet.

    Family members are key resources for service members and veterans. They know when something is wrong and can encourage each other to seek help. Unfortunately, sometimes misunderstandings, disagreements and conflicts get in the way of helping. Here are some suggestions for working with your service member or veteran when you think he or she is troubled and experiencing depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or another mental health concern: