DCoE Blog

  • Understanding Cultural Differences and Health Care
    Service members from various branches at ceremony at stadium.
    U.S. Army National Guard photo by 1st Lt. Aaron Ritter

    Cultural identity can affect how service members and their families engage with their health care providers. A recent Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) webinar addressed these impacts and how health care providers can help minimize them.

    Our Diverse Military

    Like the larger American population, those who serve their country in the military represent an intersection of people from every race, class, gender and sexual orientation.

     

  • Be Kind to Yourself: Understanding and Implementing Self-Compassion
    U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht

    The golden rule encourages you to treat others how you want to be treated. However, can you truly do that if you’re not nice to yourself? The first step before lending a helping hand to others is to be kind to you – practice self-compassion. You can do this by taking steps to understand what being compassionate means.

    “To have compassion is to suffer together,” said Deployment Health Clinical Center Clinical Psychologist and Special Assistant to the Director Dr. Christina Schendel. “As humans, we have a capacity to have empathy for other humans or animals. Compassion requires a feeling of wanting to do something.”

    You may notice the compassionate gestures of others. Whether it is giving a homeless person something to eat or helping an elderly woman carry groceries to her car, these acts show willingness to react and make a difference.

  • Working With Your Provider: Does Rank Impact Therapy?
    Graphic showing various military insignia
    Graphic courtesy of Deployment Health Clinical Center

    Getting medical treatment and therapy from the Military Health System can pose unique challenges. For example, sometimes the issue of military rank comes up. What happens when a health care provider is lower ranking than the patient? Does rank affect the doctor-patient relationship?

    Retired Capt. Richard D. Bergthold shares his experiences with military rank in the treatment setting below. Bergthold is the Navy Clinical Psychology Internship Program director at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

  • Congressional Brief: ‘We’re Making Progress, but Not Yet Claiming Victory’
    Photo of Cpt. Colston

    I recently testified in front of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel. My conversation with members of Congress offered an excellent chance to highlight our efforts to promote psychological health and to prevent, diagnose and treat traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the military. ...I shared many of our accomplishments with the committee and I want to share a few with you below. I believe they reveal the important advances we made, provide an understanding of where we should target future research, and encourage more investments in medical research.

                  

  • 5 Steps to Take Charge of Your Mental Health
    U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Trevor Kohlrus

    Medical check-ups allow you to monitor your physical well-being; however, your health care shouldn’t stop there. How often do you check on your mental health? If not so often, here are five steps to help you take charge of your mental health.

    Step 1: Look for Mental Health Providers

    Finding the right mental health provider can be a challenge. The Defense Center of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) Outreach Center can help you get started. Professionals are available 24/7 by phone at 866-966-1020, online chat or email to listen to your questions and connect you with a specialist in your area of need.  

  • What Do You Call a Military Patient?
    Graphic courtesy of Deployment Health Clinical Center

    The chain of command in the military offers structure, denotes a clear line of responsibility and tasks, and maintains overall order. While the rank structure is essential to an effective military, it can be tricky for mental health providers to know how to address their military patients. In addition to rank, service members may go by last names, job titles, nick names, etc. So just what do you call a member of the military?

    This excerpt from a Clinician’s Corner post, written by Navy Capt. (Dr.) Carrie Kennedy, director of the Deployment Health Clinical Center, highlights her perspective on how to address military patients seeking mental health support:

     

Pages