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  • Military Doctors Help Civilian Therapists Understand Service Culture

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    The military is a distinctive culture. Understanding this culture is critical for effective mental health care services and outcomes.

    Civilian psychological health providers have an unfamiliar new clientele: service members, and their families, who are coming home after a decade of war. Although members of the U.S. Armed Forces look like their civilian peers, their life experience is very different.

    “The military is a distinctive culture with distinguishing signs and symbols,” said Dr. Evelyn Lewis-Clark, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. And for civilian providers, understanding this culture “is critical to establishing tailored and effective health care services and outcomes.”

  • DCoE Brings Resources to Army Reserve Members, Families

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    (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Joel Quebec)

    More than 700 members of the Army Reserve and their families from throughout the Northeast Region of the United States recently gathered in Northern Virginia for a Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program event.

    The 99th Regional Support Command (RSC) hosted the event to help service members and their families learn about local support agencies and resources, and to offer briefings focused on different stages of the deployment cycle, explained Brig. Gen. Christopher R. Kemp, commander of the 335th Signal Command, one unit supported by the 99th RSC.

  • MLK Day: A Day ‘On’

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    Petty Officer 3rd Class Rylan Burchell, left, hospital corpsman, and Sgt. Chester Ginter, motor transportation chief, both with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, assemble boxes during a volunteer event in Vista, California. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Emmanuel Ramos)

    In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., millions of Americans will offer their day off as a day of service. This gesture, which distinguishes Martin Luther King Jr. Day from other national observances, helps people make a community more than a simple collection of individuals.

    Service is beneficial to those who need help and to those performing the service. In fact, research shows those who volunteer often experience greater health benefits than those who receive support.

    For men and women with a traumatic brain injury or psychological health concerns, connecting with others, especially in their communities, is an important part of recovery.

    “I think that one of the major problems [for injured service members], in addition to loneliness and depression, is loss of community,” said Dr. Donald Marion, senior clinical consultant for the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center. “Service can be an excellent way to get reconnected to the community.”

  • Routine Military Medical Visits Can Include Behavioral Health Checkup

    Read the full story: Routine Military Medical Visits Can Include Behavioral Health Checkup
    A mental health specialist provides triage to a soldier during a behavioral health assessment. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Calvert)

    When Frances stepped on the scale at her primary care visit, she had gained more than 10 pounds. She was under a lot of stress, she told the physician assistant.

    The response was immediate: A new member of the primary care team could help Frances with a plan for coping with stress. Minutes later, she was sitting down with internal behavioral health consultant Erica Jarrett. Six months later, not only was Frances less stressed, but she’d also lost the extra weight.

    Frances (not her real name) is benefiting from the Military Health System’s decision to integrate an internal behavioral health consultant (IBHC) -- either a psychologist or a licensed clinical social worker -- into the primary care team. For the military, the goal is healthier, fitter service members.