DCoE Blog

  • Clinician’s Corner: Help Your Patients and Yourself Feel Comfortable Talking About Suicide
    U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nadine Y. Barclay

    For the past eight years, suicide is among the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Despite its prevalence, suicide remains a sensitive topic often considered taboo. The effects of stigma related to suicide are of particular importance for those in the military. There is a common perception among service members that if they share their thoughts of suicide with others, they may experience negative repercussions that will affect their careers.

    As mental health professionals, we too are susceptible to personal beliefs that perpetuate stigma. Without knowing it, we may bring these beliefs and fears (rooted in stigma) into the therapy room.

  • Military Health System News: Do Benefits of Sports Participation Outweigh Risks?
    U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Travis Gershaneck

    Playing sports has health benefits for children and service members. Experts from the Military Health System examined whether those benefits outweigh the risks in a recent health.mil article.

    Children can be involved in sports from a young age. Participating in sports gives children a way to release energy in a more controlled, positive manner, said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jonathan Roth, a sports medicine physician at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in northern Virginia. From toddler gymnastics to T-ball and soccer, organized sports help teach young children important social lessons – like teamwork, sharing and perseverance.

  • ‘What Did You Say?’ Hearing Loss and Brain Injuries
    U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Stephen D. Schester

    It’s no surprise that some symptoms of traumatic brain injury (TBI) include headaches and memory problems. But hearing loss may also accompany a TBI, either because the injury damages the ear or because there is damage to the part of the brain that processes sound. In addition, loud noises that might just be irritating to people without a brain injury can cause problems such as headaches and fatigue for those with a TBI.

    Research continues to fully understand the mechanisms associated with hearing loss and auditory and vestibular (important part of the ear for balance) system injuries in individuals with TBI, said Katie Stout, director of clinical affairs for Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center. In the meantime, there are specialty treatments and rehabilitation strategies available for hearing and balance challenges in individuals with TBI.

  • Get Your Head Out of the Game to Prevent TBI
    U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Rebecca Eller

    As fall sports season begins for students and families, players can reduce the risk of a concussion by learning to tackle properly in sports such as football, lacrosse and rugby. Coaches may tell players to get their heads in the game, but players shouldn’t take that literally, warned an expert with the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC).

    Learning to lead with the shoulder and not the head or helmet is important for all sports that involve contact, said Scott Livingston, director of education for DVBIC.

    “Take the head out of the game,” he said. “Don’t use the head as a weapon. Don’t aim for an opponent’s head.”

  • Summer Safety: ‘Foul Ball!’ Learn Risks of Head Injuries in Baseball
    a line of batting helmets in a field
    U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Antwaun L. Jefferson

    Baseball and softball are practically synonymous with summer in America. Military families enjoy days at the stadium together, service members join recreational leagues, and kids learn the ropes at Little League games. When watching a Major League Baseball (MLB) game, who doesn’t love it when one of our service members throws out the first pitch?

    Baseball and softball are popular summer pastimes, but most people don’t connect these two sports with head injuries. Players and fans need to be aware of the possible danger of being beaned by a ball. Head injuries are a problem not just for amateur athletes, but also the pros. An MLB official says that a dozen pitchers have been hit in the head by line drives since 2012.

  • Food for Thought…About Nutrition, Performance, Resiliency and Recovery
    Photo courtesy U.S. Marine Corps
    In recognition of National Nutrition Month, Dr. Brian J. Grady, interim director of the National Center for Telehealth and Technology (T2) wrote an article looking at the link between nutrition and overall psychological health. Grady shares how nutrition can impact a service member’s performance, resilience and medical recovery. He also shares helpful tools to help service members and their families make wise choices regarding food, including how to eat more mindfully.