STAND TO!

Edition: Thu, May 01, 2008
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SENIOR LEADERS ARE SAYING

"Combat is inherently brutal and difficult, and it impacts humans in different ways. We have made significant improvements in the identification and treatment for PTSD and mild TBI, but we must aggressively work research, prevention and treatment of these injuries and encourage Soldiers and their Families to seek treatment."

-Gen. George Casey Jr., chief of staff of the Army

"We understand deployments place stress on our Soldiers. The purpose of the post-deployment health assessment and reassessment is to reach out to them, bring them in, educate them, ask them if they have any physical or psychological concerns, and get them the care they need. This is about reducing stigma and breaking down barriers to getting care, and it's working."

-Brig. Gen. Stephen L. Jones, assistant surgeon general for Force Protection, U.S. Army Medical Command.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

"I'll definitely miss my friends. And, some friends are upset that I am ditching them. But I'm looking at it for the future. I want to better myself."

- Brandon Srinamyom, who joined the Army along with his stepmother

Mother follows son into service

TODAY'S FOCUS

Behavioral Health

What is it?

Behavioral health is just as important as physical health. Good health maintains good readiness. Good readiness keeps Soldiers in top condition.

What has the Army done?

The Army continues to reduce the stigma associated with seeking behavioral health care. In addition, it has increased its number of behavioral health care providers at stateside and deployed locations.

- We implemented Battlemind training to remind Soldiers they are not alone. It familiarizes leaders, Soldiers, Family members and even Army Civilians with signs of Soldiers in distress, and how to get them help. There are pre- and post-deployment modules and resources for Families.
- Resources now are available to help Soldiers get a handle on any changes in behavior or mood resulting from deployment. The Army's Behavioral Health Office has a Web site with helpful hints on what to do.
- We train Soldiers and leaders in suicide-prevention awareness as part of our professional military education system and during the deployment process. Updated training materials are available.
- Institutionalized training now also takes into consideration stateside/garrison environments and Soldiers deployed in support of combat operations

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

As Army culture adjusts to the increased availability of Behavioral Health resources, more leaders and Soldiers can take advantage of training and counseling, to learn how to help themselves and their battle buddies. In coming months, there will be an ongoing focus on reducing the stigma associated with seeking behavioral health care, on suicide prevention training and on providing the best care, support and services to Soldiers and their Families.

Why is this Important to the Army?

In this era of persistent conflict, we anticipate a continued high operational tempo for our Soldiers. This requires that our Soldiers and Families are continuously ready - well-trained, well-led, well-equipped, and physically and mentally prepared. To ensure our readiness is sustained, we need Soldiers to seek behavioral health care, and leaders who encourage and enable Soldiers to get behavioral health care, just as they do for physical injuries.

Resources:

Battlemind Web site
Army Behavioral Health Web site
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Video
U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine Web site

INFORMATION YOU CAN USE

- 2008 Strategic Communication Guide - Read the 2008 Army Strategic Communication Guide for key messages and updates

- Strategic Communication Coordination Group (SCCG) Workspace

- Army Public Affairs Portal

- Stories of Valor

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