• Success before Stress: Keeping Relationships Healthy
    Success before stress

    If you could have the ideal loving relationship, what would that look like? For some couples, it would involve lots of time together and shared interests, and for others, it may include more space and time spent separately. There are many ways to be a loving partner, and the key is discovering what your partner needs from you, rather than what they aren’t giving to you. Often, loving your partner means putting yourself in their place and imagining what would bring them happiness.

    Military couples face incredibly challenging stressors together. Those couples who remain resilient often find themselves with stronger relationships when the dust settles. However, many of the unique stressors imposed on military couples may chip away at the fabric of safety and peace within the relationship. What can you and your partner do to help protect your relationship from the stress of military life?

    Here are some ideas to enrich your relationship so it serves as a vessel of comfort for you both.

  • Service Videos Tell Stories of Survival
    Suicide Prevention

    Our series “Spotlight on Service Support” during Suicide Prevention Awareness Month highlights service-specific resources, programs and multimedia tools for service members, veterans and families that help prevent and treat self-destructive behavior.

    “When I became battalion commander I was in charge of the lives of 600 men. I was going to do everything I could to make sure we had leaders who knew what to look out for.” - Army Col. Kevin Brown

    “We need to continue to embrace our…soldiers and let them know that we’re there for them.” - Army Master Sgt. Katrina Carpenter, master resilience trainer

    “I was fortunate enough to have people around me that cared for me and loved me, could speak to me when no one else could and could tell me what was going on that I didn’t realize and see.” - Army Lt. Gen. David Fridovich, Special Forces Command

  • Art Therapy Program Helps Service Members Cope with Trauma
    Photo courtesy of Melissa Walker

    When a service member experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) recently visited the art therapy program at National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE), he used molding clay to sculpt a scene he experienced while deployed.

    “He was shocked to find himself reenacting a combat casualty,” said Melissa Walker, art therapist and healing arts program coordinator at the center.

    Another participant began sessions timidly, outlining words and images on tracing paper. He told Walker that prior to his injury, he had been a painter for many years.

  • Readers Get Personal: 'Someone told me there was another way'
    Ann Longboy (Courtesy photo)

    The Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) is sharing personal accounts from members of the military community who have intervened and successfully prevented a suicide, assisted someone in need, or took steps to seek help themselves when they experienced suicidal thoughts. We hope these personal stories offer hope and encouragement and remind others that help is out there. If you are currently having thoughts of suicide or know someone that is, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) for immediate help, military community members choose 1.

    The following story is shared by Navy veteran Ann Longboy. She also shares her personal experiences in this suicide prevention video, created last year.

    I offer my experience as a person who was suicidal and received help and as a survivor of my brother's suicide nearly 18 years later.

  • Success before Stress: Are You In Control of Your Choices?
    Dr. Vladimir Nacev

    Dr. Vladimir Nacev is a retired Navy and board certified clinical psychologist specializing in child and adolescent psychology. He has served overseas and spent most of his time in clinics and hospitals providing clinical services to service members and their families. He is a subject matter expert on alcohol and substance abuse prevention at DCoE.

    As a child growing up in three different cultures, I learned the value of being cosmopolitan—learning the difference between having an opinion and holding a judgment, between having a choice and making a decision. Years later when I became director of an inpatient alcohol rehabilitation clinic, I conveyed the message that while drinking alcohol is a choice, the amount of alcohol we consume may not always be under our control. For some, drinking alcohol is a high risk factor with serious consequences that may need to be avoided.

  • Veterans Suicide Seminar Sends Message: Speak Up and Reach Out
    Suicide Prevention

    “I hope to get some information to help me with depression and suicidal thoughts.”
    - Vincent C. Lewis, patient at Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center

    Vincent Lewis found what he was looking for at the “Epidemic of Veterans Suicide” seminar hosted recently at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington, D.C. (DC VA Medical Center). Club Vet, whose members have sought services from the center, sponsored the forum.