Themes often define a year. In 2015, that was definitely the case: our audience clicked and commented most often when we shared tips, resources and practices related to mindfulness. Other topics our readers found of particular interest were moral injury, resources for military kids and caring for traumatic brain injury (TBI). Listed below in order of popularity are the top 10 blog posts of 2015 on the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) website.
“Moral Injury Poses Hidden Risks for Service Members”
DCoE hosted a chaplains working group in which Dr. William Nash, a retired Navy psychiatrist, discussed moral injury with some 300 military chaplains. Moral injury is a term first used during the Vietnam War to describe a kind of post-traumatic stress caused by an incident or behavior that violates moral values. It is not a clinically defined term or a formal diagnosis and no clinical practice guidelines are currently available for it. Nash discussed approaches to care that have been found to be helpful.
“Mindfulness Meditation Can Help Your Brain Handle Stress”
The Mindfulness Meditation series, which began in February, explores numerous ways the treatment can help service members coping with psychological health challenges or TBI. In the post that kicked off the series — the second most viewed blog post of 2015 — we discuss how mindfulness meditation helps calm the mind.
“Let Your Brain Relax: Mindfulness Meditation Can Reduce Some TBI Symptoms”
Relaxation is a vital form of treatment with many types of illnesses. Dr. Donald Marion, a senior clinical consultant for the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, stressed the importance of staying in the moment when trying to recover from TBI and explained how mindfulness meditation can help with that goal.
“Teach Yourself to Meditate Mindfully”
This blog post, the second in the mindfulness series, explains how people can meditate in virtually any space. It gives five simple instructions to practice the technique properly.
“10 Ways to Help Kids Conquer the Challenges of Military Life”
Afterdeployment outlined 10 tips for military members and their family members to adjust during military life changes, which we adapted for our audience. Among the tips are ways to encourage children to connect, help others, establish routine and have fun!
“How to Improve Your Health with Mindfulness Meditation”
Dr. Marina Khusid, a family medicine physician and chief of integrative medicine for the Deployment Health Clinical Center, outlines important distinctions between group mindfulness-based therapeutic techniques developed for clinical environments. These techniques are proven effective in treating mental health challenges such as depression or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“Former Army Medic Supports Service Members with TBI”
In this question-and-answer session, Randy Gross, a regional education coordinator at Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia, talks about his work with service members who have TBI.
“6 Brain Injury Websites to Bookmark this March”
March is recognized in the military community as Brain Injury Awareness Month. With people looking for the newest information on brain injuries online, this list proved very popular.
“Mobile App Teaches Mindfulness Techniques for Daily Life”
The National Center for Telehealth and Technology (T2) is making some incredible strides in creating mobile apps to use in conjunction with psychological health and TBI care. This blog post highlights Mindfulness Coach, an app T2 developed in collaboration with the Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD.
“Prolonged Exposure: PTSD Therapy That Works”
This story and infographic highlights a treatment called prolonged exposure therapy and explains how it is used to treat PTSD. The graphic outlines how each aspect of the therapy is helpful: controlled breathing, talk therapy, voluntary exposure and repeated recall of memories.
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