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For Military and Families Coping with Psychological Health Concerns, the Real Warriors Campaign Offers Resources, Support

Airman with Dog

Photo by LCpl Robert J. Maurer

Service members bear the great responsibility of protecting our nation and, as Americans, it is our duty to support their physical and psychological strength.

To help address the psychological health concerns of service members and military families, and to combat the stigma that often prevents warriors from seeking treatment,the Real Warriors Campaign was formed as an initiative through the Psychological Health Center of Excellence (PHCoE). The Real Warriors Campaign is a valuable resource for service members and their families, and uses candid video profiles, TV and radio public service announcements and informative articles to demonstrate that reaching out is a sign of strength.

“At its core, this is a readiness issue,” Capt. Paul S. Hammer said. “To achieve peak performance, a warrior must be physically, psychologically and spiritually fit. The Real Warriors Campaign is part of an overall effort within the Department of Defense to build resilience and enhance psychological fitness.”

The campaign speaks directly to the entire military community; the website includes service-specific information and resources for active-duty service members, as well as articles addressing the unique needs of National Guard members and reservists, veterans, military families and health professionals.

Practical articles, such as “You Are Your Friend’s Biggest Support” provide actionable information for those who are dealing with deployment. Additional resources are made available through the Military Crisis Line, which can be reached at 1-800-273-8255.

At the heart of our campaign are Real Warrior volunteers whose profiles and public service announcements provide the proof that reaching out makes a real difference.

“Admitting you need help is not a career ender,” Real Warrior profilee and Army Staff Sgt. Megan Krause said. “After I sought psychological health care, everything else fell into place. I earned my college degree. I have successful civilian and military careers; I’m still Staff Sgt. Krause to my soldiers.” Active-duty warriors, National Guard members and reservists, veterans, families and health professionals can confidentially reach out to health consultants around the clock through the Real Warriors Live Chat feature or by calling 1-866-966-1020. Visitors are also connecting with one another directly through our message boards.

Regardless of how exposure to combat affects someone—whether it is directly or indirectly—psychological stress is common, and no warrior, veteran or family is alone.

For more information, please visit www.realwarriors.net or call 1-866-966-1020.

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