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  • Equine-assisted Learning: Not Just Horsing Around

    Read the full story: Equine-assisted Learning: Not Just Horsing Around
    Photo by Staff Sgt. Michael J. Dator

    The connection between military members and horses goes back a long time.

    Historically, service members depended on horses for combat support. During the Civil War, horses were strategic targets: Dead or injured horses meant immobilized cavalry, arrested supplies and halted artillery — the massive iron cannons pulled by these stoic animals.

    Today, off the battlefield, horses help service members and veterans recover from traumatic brain injury (TBI), return to duty and reintegrate in their communities through equine-assisted learning.

  • Web, Mobile Technology Helps Military Health Beneficiaries Assess, Improve Mental Health

    Read the full story: Web, Mobile Technology Helps Military Health Beneficiaries Assess, Improve Mental Health
    Courtesy photo

    A typical day in our modern world can involve a considerable amount of stress and anxiety. In an effort to help service members—and their families—better cope with such pressures, the National Center for Telehealth & Technology (T2) develops psychological health-based mobile applications and websites. A recent article by the Military Health System Communications Office explores how these tools can help service members and their families.

    “The great thing about these applications and web tools is that they allow us to have a much bigger impact with our target population,” said David Cooper, psychologist and mobile applications lead at T2. “For instance, Breathe2Relax has been downloaded more than 300,000 times. I could never see that many patients in my entire scope of practice. The technology and applications we’re developing at T2 are really helping us provide better overall care.” At the same time, physicians note that an app is not a substitute for direct medical care and, if needed, people should seek professional help.

    Read the full article from Military Health System Communications Office, “Web, mobile technology helps MHS beneficiaries assess, improve mental health,” on the health.mil website.

  • Clinician’s Corner: Real Warriors’ Website Supports Psychological Health Care

    Read the full story: Clinician’s Corner: Real Warriors’ Website Supports Psychological Health Care
    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.

  • Identifying, Preventing Sexual Abuse of Children

    Read the full story: Identifying, Preventing Sexual Abuse of Children
    U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Mike MacLeod

    Educating everyone who might potentially be involved in a sexual assault — whether as health care provider, victim, offender or bystander — can help prevent sexual assault against children, according to David Finkelhor, director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center.

    “These are complicated situations for people to report about, and for investigators to find out what's going on. Frequently, there's tremendous allegiance, even on the part of victims, to the offenders,” Finkelhor told participants in an April webinar hosted by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE). “What we really need is a fully integrated safety and health curriculum for young people that is developmentally informed.”

  • Clinician’s Corner: Mental Health Providers Need Self-Care, Help Too

    Read the full story: Clinician's Corner:
Mental Health Providers Need Self-Care, Help Too
    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.

  • Webinar Rewind: Experts Explain New Clinical Guideline for Concussion Headaches

    Read the full story: Experts Explain New Clinical Guideline for Concussion Headaches
    U.S. Air Force Photo by Master Sgt. Dave Ahlschwede

    Experts from the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) and the Department of Veterans Affairs provided an overview of a new clinical recommendation for headaches associated with concussion during a recent Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury webinar.

    Headache is the most common symptom of concussion. Other symptoms include sleep disturbances, dizziness, confusion, nausea or vomiting, blurred vision, sensitivity to light or sound, memory problems, and behavior and mood changes.

    Between 2000 and 2015, more than 344,000 service members experienced a traumatic brain injury. Approximately 82 percent of these injuries were classified as concussion. In a study of veterans of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, 74 percent reported post-traumatic headaches within 30 days of a concussion.