• Mom, Psychologist Shares How Laughter Can Strengthen Relationships
    U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Preston Cherry

    Laughing with a service member, family member or friend can be a fun and healthy way to connect. Julie Kinn, deputy director of the National Center of Telehealth and Technology Mobile Health Program, shares a family experience that makes her laugh until this day in a recent AfterDeployment blog post.

    Laughing about shared circumstances builds a sense of connection. Just be sure the shared memory is one that everyone finds funny (and not one that will make someone feel embarrassed or ashamed).

  • 6 Ways to Avoid Isolation This Summer
    Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force by Airman 1st Class Jonathan McElderry

    Depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health issues can leave you feeling disconnected, isolated, disengaged and lonely. Here are some ways to reconnect with yourself and others this summer:

    Engage and Reconnect

    Make time to spend with family and friends. Take a summer day trip or vacation with your family. Stay local and hang out with friends at a barbecue. The National Center for Telehealth and Technology developed the Positive Activity Jackpot app as a tool for pleasant event scheduling in your area. The app allows you to plan group activities in a simple, helpful way. Give yourself permission to leave if an event becomes overwhelming, but make the commitment to go connect for a bit.

  • Military Health Experts Tweet to Raise Awareness for PTSD

    Is it #PTSD or Stress - PTSD Awareness Day Twitter Chat image

    “Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is treatable.” Military health experts shared this message with more than 250,000 Twitter users during a live chat June 27. Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) hosted the event to connect with members of the military community to talk about stress and PTSD.

    June 27 marked the 7th annual National PTSD Awareness Day recognized by the president. This is noteworthy because until recently, medical information or treatment for PTSD was very limited.

    Today, we know that 149,000 active-duty service members received a PTSD diagnosis in the Military Health System from 2000 to 2014. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD, 7.8 percent of Americans will experience PTSD at some point in their lives, with women twice as likely as men to develop the disorder.


  • Need PTSD Treatment? OASIS Now Accepting Applicants
    Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy

    The Overcoming Adversity and Stress Injury Support (OASIS) Program located at Naval Medical Center San Diego is now accepting new patients. The residential program is designed to help active-duty service members coping with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) secondary to combat/operationally-related trauma. Navy Lt. Cmdr. (Dr.) Erin Simmons, division officer of OASIS describes the program in a recent Deployment Health Clinical Center blog post.


  • AfterDeployment: A PTSD Love Story
    Photo courtesy of AfterDeployment

    Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can affect the entire family unit. In addition to those with PTSD needing the support and encouragement of their family to get the help they need to recover, family members also experience their own challenges. AfterDeployment recently published an article and video series telling the story of Toby, an Army lieutenant colonel returning from Iraq showing signs of PTSD, and his wife Susan.


  • Large Celebrations May Trigger PTSD
    Marine Corps members marching in July 4th parade
    U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Dalton A. Precht

    Some service members or veterans won’t share the same excitement others feel when fireworks light up the sky. Large crowds, loud noises and the smell of smoke can aggravate symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

    “There is no shame in declining to attend fireworks displays,” said Cmdr. Angela Williams, acting director of psychological health clinical care at the Deployment Health Clinical Center.

    PTSD triggers and reactions aren’t always predictable. It’s important to prepare yourself and know the tools available to help you cope.