DCoE Blog

  • 5 Steps to Take Charge of Your Mental Health
    U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Trevor Kohlrus

    Medical check-ups allow you to monitor your physical well-being; however, your health care shouldn’t stop there. How often do you check on your mental health? If not so often, here are five steps to help you take charge of your mental health.

    Step 1: Look for Mental Health Providers

    Finding the right mental health provider can be a challenge. The Defense Center of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) Outreach Center can help you get started. Professionals are available 24/7 by phone at 866-966-1020, online chat or email to listen to your questions and connect you with a specialist in your area of need.  

  • 10 Mental Health Blogs You Don’t Want to Miss
    U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chad Strohmeyer

    The Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) strives to provide the most up-to-date information and resources on research, tools and services available for the military community. DCoE, including its centers and campaigns, produces blog posts to help make the information available to everyone, and easier to understand.

  • College Success After Traumatic Brain Injury
    Service members participate in college graduation ceremony
    Image courtesy U.S. Army

    As a service member or veteran, you have all the advantages of your military training and experience to help you succeed in college. You’ve learned the importance of discipline, dependability teamwork and how to show respect. You know how to set goals and raise the bar for everyone around you. These skills will serve you well.

    Nevertheless, entering or returning to school after a traumatic brain injury (TBI) may feel challenging. You may find yourself coping with persistent symptoms such as headaches, sleep disturbances, pain, vision and hearing problems, dizziness, and mood changes. You may also feel overwhelmed or have difficulty staying focused.

    Strong support systems at colleges and universities can help you through these challenges. However, it’s important to be your own advocate and educate yourself about what resources are available.

  • Treat Stress, Anxiety Early for Successful TBI Recovery
    Service member experiencing effects of anxiety. (DoD photo)

    Most first responders are familiar with the “golden hour”—those precious 60 minutes from the time a trauma patient is injured to when they should get medical attention. Although this magical hour remains a topic of debate among experts, most will agree that the sooner trauma is treated, the better the outcome.

    Health care providers should apply the same concept when treating patients for the stress and anxiety that accompany a traumatic brain injury (TBI), according to Dr. C. Alan Hopewell, a subject matter expert with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC).

  • MLK Day: A Day ‘On’
    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.”

  • Honoring our Veterans
    Navy Captain Richard F. Stoltz

    Last week our nation’s citizens had the opportunity to freely exercise their right to vote when so many others across the globe do not share the same freedom. Now we look ahead to honoring America's veterans for protecting that right to vote, their patriotism, and love of country. Their willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good ensures our nation remains independent and free. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as the Director of an organization that works to provide for the psychological health and traumatic brain injury needs of our service members.

    We think not only of the veterans of recent conflicts, but also those from prior years, from World War II to Korea to Vietnam and beyond. Young or old, they all deserve our respect and support.

    Since 9/11, our nation has experienced a long period of conflict involving multiple deployments for many in our all-volunteer force.