News

  • Providers: Learn Basic Steps to Assess Suicide Risk of Service Members
    By following basic steps for suicide risk assessment, providers can mitigate risk of overdose for patients starting opioid therapy
    Graphic courtesy of Deployment Health Clinical Center

    A recent Deployment Health Clinical Center (DHCC) Clinician’s Corner blog highlighted what providers need to know to complete a comprehensive suicide risk assessment. Dr. Jennifer Tucker, a clinical psychologist at DHCC, discussed the specific questions providers should ask, what information to gather from the patient, and how to evaluate common risk and protective factors.

    The increasing focus on stemming the tide of the opioid epidemic in the U.S. has highlighted the risk for opioid overdose in individuals who are or become suicidal while taking opioids. In order to mitigate overdose risk, the 2017 VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for Opioid Therapy for Chronic Pain  advises prescribers and other clinicians working with opioids to assess their patients for suicide risk before initiating long-term opioid therapy as well as when continuing treatment.

  • Annual DOD Psychological Health, TBI Summit Features State of Science
    Coming soon DCoE 2017 Summit banner with #DCoESummit17 and #StateoftheScience
    Graphic by Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Heath & Traumatic Brain Injury

    The 2017 Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) Summit themed, “Advances in the State of the Science and Best Practices,” begins Tuesday. The live, virtual summit will run until Thursday. Health care providers, researchers and service members are encouraged to join.

    Registration for the summit will remain open through the event, but it’s a good idea to register as early as possible to secure a spot. View the summit agenda for the full list of presentations to help plan your days.

  • ‘Tech into Care’ Pilot Aims to Help Providers Use Mobile Apps with Patient Care
    The five mobile apps pictured: breathe to relax, life armor, PTSD coach, T2 mood tracker, and virtual hope box
    Graphic courtesy of Deployment Health Clinical Center

    A recent National Center for Telehealth & Technology (T2) survey explored the barriers that military health care providers face when they try to use technology with psychological health treatment. In response, Deployment Health Clinical Center (DHCC) launched a pilot program to offer solutions. The Tech into Care pilot will help providers at Navy and Air Force behavioral health clinics use five popular mobile apps with their treatment practices.
     

  • Understanding Cultural Differences and Health Care
    Service members from various branches at ceremony at stadium.
    U.S. Army National Guard photo by 1st Lt. Aaron Ritter

    Cultural identity can affect how service members and their families engage with their health care providers. A recent Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) webinar addressed these impacts and how health care providers can help minimize them.

    Our Diverse Military

    Like the larger American population, those who serve their country in the military represent an intersection of people from every race, class, gender and sexual orientation.

     

  • Be Kind to Yourself: Understanding and Implementing Self-Compassion
    U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht

    The golden rule encourages you to treat others how you want to be treated. However, can you truly do that if you’re not nice to yourself? The first step before lending a helping hand to others is to be kind to you – practice self-compassion. You can do this by taking steps to understand what being compassionate means.

    “To have compassion is to suffer together,” said Deployment Health Clinical Center Clinical Psychologist and Special Assistant to the Director Dr. Christina Schendel. “As humans, we have a capacity to have empathy for other humans or animals. Compassion requires a feeling of wanting to do something.”

    You may notice the compassionate gestures of others. Whether it is giving a homeless person something to eat or helping an elderly woman carry groceries to her car, these acts show willingness to react and make a difference.

  • Working With Your Provider: Does Rank Impact Therapy?
    Graphic showing various military insignia
    Graphic courtesy of Deployment Health Clinical Center

    Getting medical treatment and therapy from the Military Health System can pose unique challenges. For example, sometimes the issue of military rank comes up. What happens when a health care provider is lower ranking than the patient? Does rank affect the doctor-patient relationship?

    Retired Capt. Richard D. Bergthold shares his experiences with military rank in the treatment setting below. Bergthold is the Navy Clinical Psychology Internship Program director at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

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