• Holistic Therapies Help Manage Stress at Home
    Robin Carnes

    Robin Carnes teaches at the week-long Significant Others Support Group offered through Deployment Health Clinical Center (DHCC), a component center of Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury. The group encourages the use of mind-body practices including iRest, breathing practices and Qi Gong, to help relax and promote mental and physical health.

    Military significant others who face unique challenges may find relief from complementary practices they can do in the comfort of their own homes to manage stress.

    These practices, tested by participants in our Significant Others Support Group, can help people become more aware of their bodies, manage their moods, have greater mental focus and problem-solve, even when there’s a lot going on. Most importantly, many group participants continue these practices at home well after graduating the DHCC program.

    iRest, breathing practices and Qi Gong are three simple, easy-to-learn, self-care practices that most anyone can do in just a few minutes.

  • DCoE October Webinar: Generational PTSD and Post-traumatic Growth
    U.S. Army photo

    Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) will host its next webinar, “Generational Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Post-traumatic Growth,” Oct. 27 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. (EDT).

    With each conflict of the 20th century, health care providers have learned more about the effects of war trauma exposure. A historical overview of PTSD has contributed to our present-day understanding and knowledge of the diagnosis...

  • Frontline Psych with Doc Bender: The Importance of Sleep
    Doc Bender on top of the Ziggurat of Ur in Southern Iraq, in February 2009.

    Dr. James Bender is a former Army psychologist who deployed to Iraq as the brigade psychologist for the 1st Cavalry Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team out of Fort Hood, Texas. During his deployment, he traveled through Southern Iraq, from Basra to Baghdad. He writes a monthly post for the DCoE Blog on psychological health concerns related to deployment and being in the military.

    I’m writing about a topic this month many of us are familiar with – sleep deprivation. While many people consider it to be little more than an annoyance and accept it as a fact of life, it’s actually a serious problem. Lack of sleep, either short-term (acute, or staying up several hours past normal bedtime) or long-term (chronic, or getting less sleep than you should for several days or longer) negatively affects physical and mental performance. Several studies imply that severe lack of sleep can even be fatal in humans.

    Here are a few more facts about sleep to be aware of:

    • Poor sleep in combat soldiers is associated with a greater risk for post-traumatic stress disorder
    • Sleep deprivation decreases your brain’s ability to use energy, especially in the areas responsible for concentrating, solving problems and thinking creatively
  • Feeling Depressed? Take a Free Assessment
    Military Pathways video

    You’re probably familiar with the saying, “The best things in life are free.” One free thing of note happening tomorrow at military installations and health fairs worldwide is the recognition of National Depression Screening Day.

  • DCoE TBI Expert Participates in Live Webcast to Veterans

    Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) subject matter expert Kathy Helmick participated in a live webcast hosted by September 30. Helmick, DCoE deputy director for traumatic brain injury, was part of a panel on traumatic brain injury (TBI), which focused on symptoms, prevention, treatment and progression of TBI care along with Dr. Vicky Youcha, director of, and Dr. Dan Budenz, founder of Online Rehab Clinic.

  • DCoE Monthly Wrap Up: Spotlight on Suicide Prevention and Awareness
    A snapshot of tweets from DCoE’s first twitterview Tuesday.

    Managing stress. Seeking help. Understanding risk factors. Suicide prevention resources.

    These topics highlight information DCoE published this month for suicide prevention and awareness. Because of that theme and its importance, we’re recapping our social media, news room articles and blog posts to make you aware of resources available.

    If you’re one of our regular followers, you know how active we’ve been to educate the military community about risk factors that can lead to suicide. This includes highlighting specific resources available to military leaders and service members as well as messages from subject matter experts. We noted in our “Success before Stress” blog series the importance of managing life’s stresses before they overwhelm you.