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  • Clinician’s Corner: Real Warriors’ Website Supports Psychological Health Care

    Read the full story: Clinician’s Corner: Real Warriors’ Website Supports Psychological Health Care
    U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Cohen A. Young

    As clinicians, we’re always looking for ways to help our patients learn more about psychological health conditions, how to seek help and how to help others. We urge that early intervention can positively impact their well-being and even their careers. We also know that almost half of patients who seek care leave treatment too soon, so it’s essential to direct them to resources that provide information to help between care and following care. Finding good resources that speak directly to patients can be difficult. Fortunately, the Real Warriors Campaign is only a click away.

    Sponsored by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE), Real Warriors is a multimedia public awareness campaign designed to encourage service members and veterans coping with mental health concerns to reach out for appropriate care or support.

  • Identifying, Preventing Sexual Abuse of Children

    Read the full story: Identifying, Preventing Sexual Abuse of Children
    U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Mike MacLeod

    Educating everyone who might potentially be involved in a sexual assault — whether as health care provider, victim, offender or bystander — can help prevent sexual assault against children, according to David Finkelhor, director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center.

    “These are complicated situations for people to report about, and for investigators to find out what's going on. Frequently, there's tremendous allegiance, even on the part of victims, to the offenders,” Finkelhor told participants in an April webinar hosted by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE). “What we really need is a fully integrated safety and health curriculum for young people that is developmentally informed.”

  • Clinician’s Corner: Mental Health Providers Need Self-Care, Help Too

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Mental Health Providers Need Self-Care, Help Too
    U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Samantha Saulsbury

    Do you know a mental health provider who’s always physically and emotionally tired? What about a colleague who is going through a significant life stressor such as a divorce and doesn’t pay enough attention to how this stressor impacts his or her functioning and work with patients?

    How often do you stop and think about your own emotional well-being? What do you do about it?

    "Please secure your oxygen mask before assisting others."

    It’s important to recognize early warning signs of mental health problems, pay attention to self-care and seek help in a timely manner.

  • Webinar Rewind: Experts Explain New Clinical Guideline for Concussion Headaches

    Read the full story: Experts Explain New Clinical Guideline for Concussion Headaches
    U.S. Air Force Photo by Master Sgt. Dave Ahlschwede

    Experts from the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) and the Department of Veterans Affairs provided an overview of a new clinical recommendation for headaches associated with concussion during a recent Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury webinar.

    Headache is the most common symptom of concussion. Other symptoms include sleep disturbances, dizziness, confusion, nausea or vomiting, blurred vision, sensitivity to light or sound, memory problems, and behavior and mood changes.

    Between 2000 and 2015, more than 344,000 service members experienced a traumatic brain injury. Approximately 82 percent of these injuries were classified as concussion. In a study of veterans of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, 74 percent reported post-traumatic headaches within 30 days of a concussion.

  • TBI Patient Recovers with Help from a Canine Friend

    Read the full story: TBI Patient Recovers with Help from a Canine Friend
    Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury photo

    When an occupational therapist at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) asked Jake Young to train a service dog as a form of therapy, the former Navy SEAL wasn’t exactly sold on the idea.

    “My first impression was they were just trying to pacify me,” said Young. “I’ve got a dog at home. I wanted more brain games and speech therapy.”

    On the other hand, Young, at NICoE receiving treatment for a serious traumatic brain injury (TBI), knew his recovery from an explosion that occurred on his 12th deployment wasn’t going well. Despite his best efforts, his cognitive skills were declining.

    “I had issues with headaches, reading and math,” said Young, who spent 23 months in the hospital. “I did all the standard physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy. One thing would get better and something else would drop off.”

  • What to Expect from a Primary Care Internal Behavioral Health Consultant

    Read the full story: What to Expect from a Primary Care Internal Behavioral Health Consultant
    U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Calvert

    As a service member, retiree or military family member, you probably rely on your primary care manager to treat a wide range of medical problems, whether it’s a cough that just won’t go away, a twisted ankle from a game of basketball or trouble sleeping that started after a deployment.

    Your primary care manager may have referred you to see a medical specialist in a separate clinic for some of your health concerns. Now there is a team member within your team of providers (your patient-centered medical home) who can help with a wide range of behavioral health concerns as well as medical conditions affected by health behaviors.

    This provider, called an internal behavioral health consultant, or IBHC, is a psychologist or social worker who works with your primary care manager as part of an integrated approach to primary care.