psychological health

Understanding Moral Injury

As a service member, you may encounter inner conflicts, ethical or moral challenges during deployments, special missions, or in the course of one’s duty. You may be required to act in ways that go against your moral beliefs or witness behaviors by others that make you feel uncomfortable.

Tips for National Guard and Reserve Members to Manage Stress

Stress can be a big part of military life, no matter what branch you support. But for National Guardsmen and reservists, the stressors you and your family face are unique.

Peer Support for Military Spouses

Connecting with peers can help improve your quality of life, promote wellness and build resiliency.

Use Martial Arts to Cope with Stress and Boost Resilience

While it may seem counterintuitive to address stress with combat training, certain types of traditional martial arts, such as tai chi and qi gong, are designed to do just that. In addition to increasing a sense of calm, martial arts can also be used to improve physical condition and strength.

Support & Resources for Single Service Members

As a single service member, it is important to have a personal network of peers, friends and family members to help you cope with the challenges that you may experience throughout a deployment cycle. They can help you feel connected to life at home, cope with the stress of a combat environment and help you readjust when you return from deployment. Try using the tips and suggestions below to help you strengthen and expand your personal support network.

Psychological Fitness – Keeping Your Mind Fit

Fitness is a whole-of-body experience, not just about how much weight you can lift, or how many miles you can run, but it includes a number of other factors outside the realm of strength, agility and speed. Psychological fitness is one of those factors. Understanding what makes up psychological fitness and how to develop a healthier mental state can improve your readiness to confront the challenges of life – both in the military and in civilian life.

Breathing, Meditation, Relaxation Techniques

Staying fit requires more than physical strength – it requires a comprehensive approach that focuses on the mind, body and spirit working together. Whether you are preparing to deploy, are currently deployed or are reintegrating, it’s important to consider how mind and body practices like breathing, meditation and relaxation techniques can assist you in staying resilient or coping with invisible wounds. Mind and body skills are part of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and integrative health practices that focus on the interactions among the brain, mind, body and behavior, in order to use the mind to strengthen physical functioning and promote health. CAM and integrative health are a diverse group of medical and non-medical health care practices that are not considered to be part of conventional medicine, or clinical care practiced by a health provider. Note, CAM and integrative health practices are not currently covered under TRICARE military health care plans. For more information on TRICARE coverage, visit TRICARE Covered Services online.

Coping with Survivor Guilt & Grief

Following the death or severe injury of a fellow service member, friend or loved one, you can sometimes feel shock, responsibility for the event or remorse for surviving. This is a common emotional reaction often called “survivor guilt.”

Veterans Affairs’ Caregiver Benefits & National Support Line

Service members returning from deployment may be coping with physical injuries such as traumatic brain injury (TBI) or psychological health concerns such as combat stress or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can affect the entire family – particularly primary caregivers. Taking care of your veteran requires real strength. Whether it’s handling the household chores, assisting with daily hygiene activities, taking your veteran to appointments or just being there in their time of need, caregiving takes endurance, commitment and patience. You are not alone. There are resources available to help you care for your loved one, as well as provide support and help you manage the stresses that can occur with being a caregiver.

Monitor Psychological Health with the T2 MoodTracker App

Whether you are deployed or transitioning, self-monitoring your psychological health is just one way you can gauge how stress may be affecting you (or a loved one). Self-monitoring with pen and paper has been used for decades to understand symptoms over time. As mobile phones have evolved to replace pen and paper, their applications (apps) have evolved to complement traditional health care too. The free T2 MoodTracker app can be your pen and paper – for your own awareness or for sharing with your health care provider. The app is currently available for Android phones and, in coming months, will be available for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.

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