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  • Preventive Health: Tackle Life’s Challenges with Help from Self-Care Website

    Read: Preventive Health: Tackle Life’s Challenges with Help from Self-Care Website

    He considered suicide, worried about his uncle’s role in his father’s death, and thought his girlfriend was spying on him.

    If Hamlet had tools for his mental health concerns, his story might have ended differently.

    While Shakespeare’s famous character faced unique problems, self-doubt is universal and anyone can struggle with anxiety, paranoia or depression.

    It can be hard to figure out whether relationship problems or other issues are serious or temporary. If you’re trying to decide whether to take action on a problem, check out the assessments on the After Deployment website and its companion app, LifeArmor. The assessments, which cover a wide range of issues, are an “early-warning system” that an emotional, physical or psychological challenge may require professional help, according to research psychologist David Bradshaw of the National Center for Telehealth and Technology.

    “It’s a way to get some information and some help before things get worse,” Bradshaw said.

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  • Chaplain Reflects on Service, Impact of War on Psychological Health

    Read the story: Chaplain Reflects on Service, Impact of War on Psychological Health
    Photo by Spc. 2nd Class Jorge Saucedo

    As the Army Chaplain Corps celebrated its 240th anniversary yesterday, retired Army Chaplain David Smith reflected on how his personal experience of war and resiliency – particularly his own recovery from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) brought on during his time in Iraq – affected his work.

    As members of the clergy, chaplains possess some advantages that other leaders don’t. They are able to listen and counsel service members without prejudice. They can offer spiritual guidance to all faiths no matter the denomination. Service members know that anything they share with a chaplain is confidential.

    Smith was deployed nine times during his 30 years in the Army. Nothing brought the war closer than his deployment to Al Anbar Province with the 82nd Airborne Division from August 2003 to April 2004.

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  • Clarify ‘One Drink’ to Best Assess Alcohol Misuse, Treat Patients

    Read about the Webinar Rewind: Clarify ‘One Drink’ to Best Assess Alcohol Misuse, Treat Patients
    Source: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

    Everyone likes to go out, have a good time and unwind from busy schedules. But using alcohol to help relax can be problematic.

    Cmdr. David S. Barry, a psychologist with Deployment Health Clinical Center, explained that providers should ensure patients understand exactly what “one drink” means during a July 23 webinar hosted by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury.

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  • Social Support Is Vital to Women at War

    Read the story: Social Support Is Vital to Women at War
    U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Marleah Robertson

    Men and women experience war differently, new research shows. For women in the military social support appears even more vital for maintaining good psychological health, compared to their male peers. Yet social support may be more difficult to find with 85 percent of the active-duty force composed of male service members. According to some female service members, sometimes women in the military find themselves ostracized by their units and social support withheld by the male service members who surround them.

    “Ostracism can produce long-term psychological and physical consequences,” said Dr. Kate McGraw, a 16-year Air Force veteran and former missile operations officer who is currently the associate director for psychological health clinical care at Deployment Health Clinical Center (DHCC).

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  • DCoE Says Farewell, Welcomes Director

    Read the Story: DCoE Says Farewell, Welcomes Director
    Navy Capt. Mike Colston

    Read the Story: DCoE Says Farewell, Welcomes Director
    Navy Capt. Richard Stoltz

    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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  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Finds a Place in the Military

    Read the story: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Finds a Place in the Military
    Photo by Spc. Charles Probst, Operations Group, National Training Center

    As described in previous blog posts, mindfulness meditation has swiftly gained popularity as a self-care strategy for improving psychological health. It’s not only a hot media topic, but also an exploding area of new research. This Army post describes a new study about a mindfulness meditation group whose members met in a three-dimensional virtual world, Second Life.

    Mindfulness-based meditation and the military are generally two things that one would not associate with one another.

    But on Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Dr. Valerie Rice, chief of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory's Human Research and Engineering Directorate Army Medical Department Field Element in San Antonio, has participated in the Army Study Program since 2012. She has led a study entitled “Evaluating Next Generation Resiliency Training Using the Virtual World of Second Life” for the last four years.

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