News

  • In Case You Missed It: #DCoESummit17
    Summit banner
    Graphic courtesy of Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury

    The Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) hosted the 2017 DCoE Summit, “Advances in the State of the Sciences and Best Practices” Sept. 19 -21. Attendees, presenters and panelists from around the world joined live, virtual discussions about scientific advances and best practices in psychological health and traumatic brain injury (TBI).

    The annual event provided real-time access to more than 28 hours of programming each day. The virtual platform allowed more than 2,611 registrants to view the various sessions.

  • Providers: Learn Basic Steps to Assess Suicide Risk of Service Members
    By following basic steps for suicide risk assessment, providers can mitigate risk of overdose for patients starting opioid therapy
    Graphic courtesy of Deployment Health Clinical Center

    A recent Deployment Health Clinical Center (DHCC) Clinician’s Corner blog highlighted what providers need to know to complete a comprehensive suicide risk assessment. Dr. Jennifer Tucker, a clinical psychologist at DHCC, discussed the specific questions providers should ask, what information to gather from the patient, and how to evaluate common risk and protective factors.

    The increasing focus on stemming the tide of the opioid epidemic in the U.S. has highlighted the risk for opioid overdose in individuals who are or become suicidal while taking opioids. In order to mitigate overdose risk, the 2017 VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for Opioid Therapy for Chronic Pain  advises prescribers and other clinicians working with opioids to assess their patients for suicide risk before initiating long-term opioid therapy as well as when continuing treatment.

  • Annual DOD Psychological Health, TBI Summit Features State of Science
    Coming soon DCoE 2017 Summit banner with #DCoESummit17 and #StateoftheScience
    Graphic by Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Heath & Traumatic Brain Injury

    The 2017 Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) Summit themed, “Advances in the State of the Science and Best Practices,” begins Tuesday. The live, virtual summit will run until Thursday. Health care providers, researchers and service members are encouraged to join.

    Registration for the summit will remain open through the event, but it’s a good idea to register as early as possible to secure a spot. View the summit agenda for the full list of presentations to help plan your days.

  • From the Clinic to Your Smartphone: Using Mobile Apps to Improve Care
    Example of various mobile apps
    DoD photo by Sidney Hinds

    For many, mobile devices are an efficient way to help with health care. According to studies, 77 percent of Americans own a smartphone and have access to millions of mobile apps. Many of those apps exist to support mental health.

    Dr. Christina Armstrong, program lead for the education and training program at the National Center for Telehealth and Technology (T2), discussed advantages of mobile health technology during a recent webinar. The webinar highlighted telehealth capabilities and strategies for making apps a more common tool used in clinical settings.

    The benefits of mobile health technology in clinical care include overcoming barriers, increasing patient engagement, and improving patient reports of symptoms, said Armstrong, also a clinical psychologist.

  • ‘Tech into Care’ Pilot Aims to Help Providers Use Mobile Apps with Patient Care
    The five mobile apps pictured: breathe to relax, life armor, PTSD coach, T2 mood tracker, and virtual hope box
    Graphic courtesy of Deployment Health Clinical Center

    A recent National Center for Telehealth & Technology (T2) survey explored the barriers that military health care providers face when they try to use technology with psychological health treatment. In response, Deployment Health Clinical Center (DHCC) launched a pilot program to offer solutions. The Tech into Care pilot will help providers at Navy and Air Force behavioral health clinics use five popular mobile apps with their treatment practices.
     

  • People with PTSD May Have Overactive ‘Fight or Flight’ Response
    U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joshua Magbanua

    Imagine you are in a life-threatening situation. You survey your surroundings and play out various scenarios in your mind. You have seconds to decide how to protect yourself. Do you run away or do you fight your way to safety? How you react to this situation is your intuitive “fight or flight” response.

    What is ‘Fight or Flight’?

    Your fight or flight response occurs when tough situations or stressors challenge or threaten your mind and body. Although the fight or flight response is “normal”, service members and combat veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may have an elevated fight or flight response.

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