By Mr. Kirk Frady (Army Medicine)May 29, 2014
The U.S. Army Medical Department Center & School (AMEDDC&S) has developed two training products to help soldiers understand the nature of combat stress reactions, strategies to seek help and strategies for units to set a command climate that supports seeking help. The two training products are The War Inside: A Defining Moment and First Contact are available on the Army Training Network at: https://atn.army.mil/dsp_template.aspx?dpID=452
First Contact: A Defining Moment is an opportunity for Soldiers and Leaders to hear from Solders, in their own words, their combat experiences, their natural psychological reactions, challenge stigma-related beliefs about behavioral health problems and encourage those who may be struggling with posttraumatic stress to seek help. Each Soldier in the video shared their story in hopes of encouraging Soldiers and Leaders to help a fellow warrior make first contact with a helping professional before problems get out of hand. The target audience for First Contact: A Defining Moment is active, reserve and guard Soldiers at the 90 -180 day post-deployment window. This training is most effective if delivered in small group discussion led by NCOs. However, this video can also be viewed as a self-development video to encourage Soldiers and Leaders to understand more about posttraumatic stress reactions. "The Soldiers and NCOs in the video were extremely courageous to come forward with their story so that others may watch the video and get help if they need it. I think many of us can view these stories and think of someone we know who's been to war and who could benefit from getting help," said Col. Steve Lewis, U.S. Army Medical Command, Behavioral Health Division.
The War Inside is a training platform known as a Virtual Experience Immersive Learning Simulation (VEILSR). It was created to address the stressful transitions that many of our Soldiers, Leaders and Family members encounter as they redeploy. The War Inside is suitable for self-paced or instructor-led training; instructor lead training is the preferred delivery method. Lewis added, "The War Inside vignettes are very realistic. The raw emotions expressed in the vignettes highlights the challenge of recognizing that things aren't the way they used to be and that getting help can be tremendously beneficial for oneself, the family and the unit."
The purpose of training is as follows:
- To develop critical thinking, decision-making and problem-solving skills
- To build and enhance resiliency factors
- To provide awareness of the risk factors which impact resiliency
- To provide users with a basic knowledge in recognizing the challenges faced by warriors and Families of warriors as they re-integrate into garrison life
- The War Inside Facilitator Guide: psychological health and healing in warriors
This course is available through the Army Training Requirements and Resources System (ATRRS) as Course Number 081SDL12-VEILS-002
Please note: In an effort to make this training as realistic as possible, some of the language in the videos is rather strong and could be viewed as abrasive or offensive.