News

  • Military Families Matter: These Resources Help Build Family Resilience
    U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod

    Military families face unique life challenges. They rely on support to help them face things such as military moves and transitions, deployments and separations, or injuries.

    In today’s tech-centered world, the military makes it easy to help families find resources to conquer challenges and build resilience. It can be as simple as an internet search.

    Resources for Families

    When service members enlist, their families are directly affected. Whether the family member is a spouse, parent, sibling, adult child or caretaker of a service member, it's important for them to find ways to stay resilient.

  • DOD Brain Injury Center Launches Podcast for Military Family Caregivers

    In recognition of Warrior Care Month and National Family Caregivers Month, Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) will launch a new podcast for family caregivers of service members and veterans with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) today.

    The podcast, called “The TBI Family,” will focus on providing information about TBI, sharing resources for caregivers and telling caregiver stories.

    “We know family caregivers don’t have a lot of free time, but do need access to information,” said Col. (Dr.) Geoffrey Grammer, DVBIC director. “Podcasts are a great way to get our message to caregivers in a way that works for their schedules.”

  • [How-to] Quit Smoking: You Can Do It!
    Quitting tobacco is the number one thing we can do to improve health.
    Quitting tobacco is the number one thing we can do to improve health.

    Tobacco use remains an important public health problem. Fifty years after the first Surgeon General’s report, tobacco use among Americans remains the nation’s leading preventable cause of death and disease. But, there is hope. In 2015, the most recent year for which statistics are available, 10,244 service members sought treatment for tobacco dependence.

    It’s never too late to be among those asking for help. Coaching from a health care provider can help you kick your tobacco habit. If you are a service member, retiree or military family member, you can ask your primary care manager about working with an internal behavioral health consultant (IHBC). These consultants are specially-trained psychologists or social workers with the Military Health System.

    To learn more about how these consultants can help, I sat down with Capt. Anne Dobmeyer, a psychologist with the Deployment Health Clinical Center who helped the military implement the IHBC program.

    “We know that quitting tobacco is the number one thing we can do to improve health,” Dobmeyer said.

  • Military Health Experts Share How 9/11 Shaped Future Careers

    This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. This moment in history shaped our nation and our military. Many Americans felt called to serve. The men and women who were already in uniform serving were reminded of why they signed up, the vow they took and commitment to defending our nation.

    Almost everyone remembers where they were the moment the planes hit the Twin Towers or the Pentagon. It’s a memory that is etched in our minds forever. This year for the anniversary, the Defense Health Agency posted stories from staff members. Below is an excerpt of our own staff at the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE). Visit health.mil for a complete list of stories.

  • Taking Time Off Enabled My TBI Recovery

    On May 5, 2005, I was riding my bicycle to work at Marine Corps Base Hawaii when I was hit head-on by a careless driver. If I hadn’t been wearing a helmet, I likely would have died instantly or at least been left with extremely severe brain damage. Even with a helmet, I was still knocked unconscious and experienced a TBI. After a few days in intensive care, I was sent home under the 24-hour supervision of my mother, a registered nurse, and my fiancé, a Marine and former emergency medical technician.

    The doctors said that for a while all I was allowed to do was sleep, read or watch TV. I don’t remember much of the first couple weeks out of the hospital because I slept a lot – 12 to 16 hours a day. That’s common after a head injury, and it was all I wanted to do.

  • 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.

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